Proposal for early voting advances in New Jersey

Early voting could be coming to the Garden State.

Up to five weeks before Election Day, New Jersey voters could start showing up at specially designated polling places to cast ballots, according to a legislative proposal now under review in New Jersey.

Those sites would be open seven days a week so people with long work hours or other commitments on the day of an election would have an opportunity to vote, says Assemblyman John Wisniewski.

“If we had a similar a similar process in place in advance of Hurricane Sandy, lots of people who instead were forced to do the vote-by-fax and vote-by-email could have gone and voted, and we would have eliminated all of that controversy,” said Wisniewski, D-Middlesex.

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Municipal clerks have some issues with the early voting plan.

“The costs of keeping facilities open seven days a week, security staffing, transportation of polling books and election results on a daily basis, and the timing of the printing of ballots and sample ballots are immediate areas of concern,” says Passaic County Clerk Kristin Corrado.

Proponents say the change would increase voter turnout.

An Assembly committee has advanced the measure, but some changes are expected as it makes its way through the Legislature.

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