New Jersey State AFL-CIO Statement on Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee’s Approval of Early Voting Bill

The New Jersey State AFL-CIO commends those elected officials who voted in favor of (S-2364) to extend in-person early voting opportunities to the community and to encourage increased participation in our state’s democratic process. The bill was released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee along party lines with Democrats voting in favor and Republicans in opposition. A breakdown of the vote is below. While there are state legislatures across the nation pursuing laws to restrict voting through voter ID laws, we are proud that legislation is being advanced in New Jersey to increase access to voting. In-person early voting is already practiced in 32 states as well as the District of Columbia.

This bill is a commonsense measure and a win-win for New Jerseyans seeking to exercise their voice in upcoming elections. Early voting is about respecting the busy schedules of New Jerseyans working two or more jobs to make ends meet; it is a way to make our lives easier while engaging more people in the electoral process.

The voting options offered to the public in the wake of Superstorm Sandy were inadequate and showed a complete lack of preparation. If there is one thing we can learn from the storm; it is that preparation is essential. This early voting measure is about being prepared and strengthening democracy.

It is shameful that Republican’s, who were unified in their opposition to the bill in committee, have decided to introduce politics into a non-partisan initiative that is beneficial to all New Jerseyans. Strengthening the voting rights of all New Jerseyans is an initiative where we should all agree.

Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee Vote on S-2364

Jeff Van Drew (D-01)  RIGHT
Linda Greenstein (D-14)  RIGHT
Teresa Ruiz (D-29)  RIGHT
Sandra B. Cunningham (D-31)  RIGHT
Brian P. Stack (D-33)  RIGHT
Nellie Pou (D-35)  RIGHT
Paul Sarlo (D-36)  RIGHT
Loretta D. Weinberg (D-37)  RIGHT
Jennifer Beck (R-11)  WRONG
Steven Oroho (R-24)  WRONG
Anthony R. Bucco (R-25)  WRONG
Joseph Pennacchio (R-26)  WRONG
Kevin J. O'Toole (R-40)  WRONG

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