Bill Text: NJ A5471 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Clarifies bilingual Spanish and English language accessibility requirements applicable to printing primary and general election ballots in certain districts.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-06-06 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly State and Local Government Committee [A5471 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-A5471-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 5471

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 6, 2019

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  ANTHONY M. BUCCO

District 25 (Morris and Somerset)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Clarifies bilingual Spanish and English language accessibility requirements applicable to printing primary and general election ballots in certain districts.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the language accessibility requirements applicable to primary and general election ballots and amending R.S.19:14-2, R.S.19:23-25, and P.L.2009, c.79.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    R.S.19:14-2 is amended to read as follows:

     19:14-2. There shall be a single or blanket form of ballot, upon which shall be printed the names of all the candidates of every party or group of petitioners having candidates to be voted for at such election.  The name of a candidate nominated at the primary who shall fail to accept his nomination, or file the oath of allegiance executed, in the manner herein provided shall not be printed  on the ballot.  The name of a candidate whose nomination has been vacated as hereinbefore provided shall not be printed on the ballot.  The name of a candidate shall appear but once upon the ballot for the same office.

     Except as to the requirements [of section 19:14-15] of this Title as to State-wide propositions, any public question which is to be submitted to the people of the State, county or municipality at the general election, shall be printed in a separate space at the foot of the ballot with appropriate instructions to the voter.

     The county clerk shall cause the official general election ballot to be printed in English, but for each election district within the county in which the primary language of 10% or more of the registered voters is Spanish, shall cause the official general election ballot to be printed bilingually in English and Spanish.

(cf: P.L.1949, c.24, s.6)

 

     2.    R.S.19:23-25 is amended to read as follows: 

     19:23-25. The ballots shall be made up and printed in substantially the following form: 

     Each ballot shall have at the top a coupon at least two inches deep extending across the ballot above a perforated line.  The coupon shall be numbered for each of the political parties, respectively, from one consecutively to the number of ballots delivered and received by the election officers of the respective polling places.  Upon the coupon and above the perforated line shall be the words "To be torn off by the judge of election. Fold to this line." Below the perforated line shall be printed the words "Official Democratic Party Primary Ballot," or "Official Republican Party Primary Ballot," or, as the case may be, naming the proper political party, as provided in this Title; below which and extending across the ballot in one or more lines, as may be necessary, shall be printed the words ................ name of municipality ................... ward ................ election district ..................... date of election ................... John Doe, municipal clerk; the blank spaces shall be filled in with the name of the proper municipality, the ward and the district number and the date of election. The name of the municipal clerk shall be a facsimile of his signature. This heading shall be set apart from the body of the ballot by a heavy diagram rule.  Below this rule shall be printed the following directions instructing the voter how to indicate his choice for each office and position, and for how many persons to vote for each office and position: To vote for any person whose name is printed upon this ballot mark a cross x , plus + or check with ink or pencil in the square at the left of the name of such person.  To vote for any person whose name is not printed upon this ballot write or paste the name in the blank space under the proper title of office and mark a cross x , plus + or check   with ink or pencil in the square at the left of the name of such person.  Below these instructions shall be printed a heavy diagram rule below which shall be printed the titles of offices and positions for which candidates are to be voted for at the primary election, together with such directions to the voter as may be necessary, as "Vote for one," "Vote for two," or a greater number, as the case may be.  Underneath the proper title of office and position shall be printed the names of all those persons certified as candidates for the offices to the municipal clerk by the county clerk as hereinbefore provided, and the names of persons indorsed as such candidates in petitions on file in the office of the municipal clerk as they appear signed to the certificate of acceptance. The name of any person indorsed in a petition as provided who shall fail to certify his consent and agreement to be a candidate for nomination to the office specified therein shall not be printed upon the ballots to be used at the primary election.  In the case of a vacancy among nominees the name of the person selected in the manner provided in this Title to fill same shall be printed upon the ballots in the place of the person vacating such nomination.  The candidates shall be arranged in groups and the groups bracketed in all cases where the petitions indorsing such candidates request such grouping.  The designation named by candidates in their petitions for nomination, as provided by this Title shall be printed to the right of the names of such candidates or groups of candidates in as large type as the space will allow.  Immediately to the left and on the same line with the name of each candidate for office and position shall be printed a square approximately one-quarter of an inch in size, or by printing vertical single line rules connecting the single line rules between the names of the candidates and thus form a square in which the voter shall indicate his choice.  A single light-faced rule shall be used to separate the different names in each group of candidates.  A heavy diagram rule shall be used between each group of candidates for different offices.  Where candidates are arranged in groups and the groups bracketed, the groups shall be separated from other groups and candidates by two single line rules approximately one-eighth of an inch apart. 

     Each primary ballot shall contain, at the end of the list of candidates for each different office, blank squares and spaces or lines equal to the number of persons to be elected to the office, for the purpose of allowing any voter to write or paste the name of any person for whom he desires to vote for any office or party position.

     The county clerk shall cause the official primary election ballot of each political party to be printed in English, but for each election district within the county in which the primary language of 10% or more of the registered voters is Spanish, shall cause the official primary election ballot of each political party to be printed bilingually in English and Spanish.

(cf: P.L.1994, c.77, s.10) 

 

     3.    Section 7 of P.L.2009, c.79 (C.19:63-7) is amended to read as follows: 

     7.    a.  Each county clerk shall have printed sufficient mail-in ballots for each primary election for the general election, and for the general election.  Along with such ballots the clerk shall also furnish inner and outer envelopes and printed directions for the preparation and transmitting of such ballots used in the election in the county.

     b.    The mail-in ballots shall be printed on paper of a different color from that used for any primary or general election ballot, but in all other respects, shall be as nearly as possible facsimiles of the election ballot to be voted at the election.

     c.     Each county clerk shall cause the mail-in ballots for the primary election and the general election, the inner and outer envelopes, and the printed directions for the preparation and transmitting of such ballots, to be printed in English, but for each election district within the county in which the primary language of 10% or more of the registered voters is Spanish, shall cause all of these materials to be printed bilingually in English and Spanish.

(cf: P.L.2011, c.134, s.51)

 

     4.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill clarifies the bilingual Spanish and English language accessibility requirements applicable to printing primary and general election ballots in certain districts. Under current law, the county clerk is required to print the primary and general election sample ballots in both English and Spanish for each election district within the county in which the primary language of 10% or more of the registered voters is Spanish. The statutes further provide that the sample ballots must be facsimiles of the official primary or general election ballots.

     This bill inserts the same language printing requirements in the statutes applicable to the official primary and general election ballots. The bill requires the county clerk to print in English the official primary election ballots of each political party, and the official general election ballots, and to print such ballots in both English and Spanish for each election district within the county in which the primary language of 10% or more of the registered voters is Spanish. The bill clarifies that the same bilingual printing requirements apply to mail-in ballots, the inner and outer envelopes, and the printed directions for the preparation and transmitting of such ballots. 

     The bill also deletes a reference to a repealed section of law.

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