PRESS RELEASE: New Jersey State AFL-CIO Joins Congressman John Lewis, Civil Rights Champion, During Press Conference Call

Urge Gov. Christie to Sign Early Voting Bill into Law

TRENTON – The New Jersey State AFL-CIO was proud to join for a press tele-town hall meeting with civil rights champion Congressman John Lewis, Congressman Rush Holt, New Jersey State Democratic Chairman and Assemblyman John Wisniewski, State Senator Nia Gill, and Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc. Chair Charles Hall, Jr. to urge Governor Christie to sign Early Voting legislation (A-3553) into law which would improve our democratic system and increase civic engagement.

Congressman John Lewis stated, “Voting is the most powerful non-violent tool to bring about change in a democracy. We hope that Governor Christie does what is right, fair, and just, and signs this legislation into law.”

New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech stated, “New Jerseyans working two or more jobs to support a family understand the importance of early voting, and this bill would afford these families every opportunity to make their voices heard.” Wowkanech added, “In any democracy, we have a responsibility to establish voting procedures that suit the busy schedules of residents and we should always be striving to maximize participation in the electoral process.”

In-person early voting would expand voter participation and takes into account work schedules, personal responsibilities, illnesses, disabilities, child care, as well as unforeseen events such as Hurricane Sandy that prevent registered voters from participating in the democratic process.  The Early Voting bill would give New Jerseyans 15 days before Election Day to vote early, and would extend voting hours on weekday and weekend evenings. The District of Columbia and 32 states already practice in-person early voting and it’s time for New Jersey and other states to catch up and enact commonsense steps to strengthen democracy.


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