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New Jersey Passes Automatic Voter Registration

J.T. Dolan, Staff Writer

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On April 17, 2018, Governor Phil Murphy, the Democratic Governor of New Jersey, signed into law legislation making registering to vote much easier with “Automatic Voter Registration”. The term has many people confused, with some thinking that it will make it easier for illegal citizens to vote in New Jersey; however, this is not the case.

 

Automatic Voter Registration requires the Motor Vehicle Commission to register any citizen who applies for driver or non-driver ID. Another part of the law allows other state agencies who posses enough information about someone to register them to vote, but this is not required. This is intriguing as not every state has this portion of Automatic Voter Registration, but New Jersey has chosen to include it. 

 

In a statement, Governor Murphy said, “today, New Jersey proudly joins a select group of states – 11 plus the District of Columbia – that have enacted automatic voter registration to expand and protect the voting rights of their citizens.”

 

The law used to be a simple process in which one would be able to tick a box saying that they would like to be registered to vote when applying for a license, but now the process is easier, with citizens being automatically registered to vote unless they opt-out.

 

The legislation has come under some criticism, such as the Leader of the State Assembly Republican Jon Bramnick response, “Billion dollar Phil Murphy is now going to spend millions of taxpayer money registering people to vote who have not asked to register. They also want to give licenses to everyone whether they are here legally or illegally. That means someone who is here illegally will be automatically registered to vote and will have to opt out.”

 

While there has been a push from the illegal immigrant community in New Jersey to give illegal immigrants driver’s licenses, Phil Murphy has not revealed any plan to do so.

Photo credits to: https://goo.gl/QkC92w

SOURCES:

https://www.app.com/story/news/politics/new-jersey/2018/01/16/new-jersey-immigrants-drivers-licenses-protest-phil-murphy-inauguration/1037938001/

https://patch.com/new-jersey/longvalley/automatic-voter-registration-signed-law-nj

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