Bill Text: NJ S647 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Permits registered voters to receive mail-in ballots automatically for all elections under certain conditions.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 12-0)

Status: (Passed) 2018-08-10 - Approved P.L.2018, c.72. [S647 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S647-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 647

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2018 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JAMES BEACH

District 6 (Burlington and Camden)

Senator  NILSA CRUZ-PEREZ

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Permits registered voters to receive mail-in ballots automatically for all elections under certain conditions.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act concerning mail-in and sample ballots, amending various parts of Title 19 of the Revised Statutes, and supplementing chapter 14 of Title 19 of the Revised Statutes and P.L.2009, c.79 (C.19:63-1 et seq.).

 

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

 

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

     3.    a.  A qualified voter shall be entitled to vote using a mail-in ballot in any election held in this State.

     b.    Not less than seven days before an election in which a voter wants to vote by mail, the voter may apply to the person designated in section 5 of P.L.2009, c.79 (C.19:63-5), for a mail-in ballot.  The application shall be in writing, shall be signed by the applicant and shall state the applicant's place of voting residence and the address to which the ballot shall be sent.  The Secretary of State shall prepare a mail-in application form and shall have the authority to promulgate any rules and regulations the secretary deems necessary to effectuate the purposes of this subsection.

     c.     Any voter wanting to vote by mail in any election may apply to the person designated in section 5 of P.L.2009, c.79 (C.19:63-5) for a mail-in ballot to be sent to the voter.  A voter who is a member of the armed forces of the United States may use a federal postcard application form to apply for a mail-in ballot.

     d.    Any voter who fails to apply for a mail-in ballot before the seven-day period prescribed in subsection b. of this section may apply in person to the county clerk for a mail-in ballot up to 3 p.m. of the day before the election.

     e.     (1) A voter who wishes to vote only by mail-in ballot in all future [general] elections, including general elections, in which the voter is eligible to vote, and who states that on an application for a mail-in ballot, shall be furnished such a ballot by the county clerk without further request on the part of the voter and until the voter requests that the voter no longer be sent a mail-in ballot.  A voter shall also have the option to indicate on an application for a mail-in ballot that the voter would like to receive such a ballot for [each election that takes place during the remainder of the calendar year in which the application is completed and submitted] future general elections only.  A voter who exercises this option shall be furnished with a mail-in ballot for each future general election [that takes place during the remainder of the calendar year] without further request by the voter.  A person voting by mail-in ballot who registered by mail after January 1, 2003, who did not provide personal identification information when registering pursuant to section 16 of P.L.1974, c.30 (C.19:31-6.4) and is voting for the first time in his or her current county of residence following registration shall include copies of the required identification information with the mail-in ballot.  Failure to include such information with the mail-in ballot shall result in its rejection.

     (2)   In the event that a voter who has requested a mail-in ballot for all future elections does not complete and return such a ballot for canvassing for four consecutive elections following the election at which the voter last voted, the voter shall be treated as if he or she requested a mail-in ballot for future general elections only and shall continue to be furnished with mail-in ballots for future general elections in accordance with paragraph (3) of this subsection, and the ability of such a voter to receive a mail-in ballot for future elections other than general elections shall be suspended until the voter submits a new application for such a ballot that indicates that the voter wishes to receive a ballot for all future elections.

     [(2)]  (3)  In the event that a voter who has requested a mail-in ballot for [all] future general elections only does not complete and return such a ballot for canvassing for the fourth general election following the general election at which the voter last voted, the county clerk shall send a notice to that voter to ascertain whether he or she continues to reside at the address from which that voter is registered to vote and continues to be eligible to vote.  If the notice is not completed and returned by the voter to the clerk before the [40th] 45th day prior to the next general election, a mail-in ballot shall not be sent to the voter for that general election.  The ability of such a voter to receive a mail-in ballot for [all] future general elections only shall be suspended until the voter submits a new application for such a ballot that indicates that the voter wishes to receive [the] a ballot for [all] future general elections only or for all future elections.

     [(3)]  (4)  The county clerk shall not transmit a mail-in ballot for any election to any person who is deemed by a county commissioner of registration to be an inactive voter or whose registration file has been transferred to the deleted file pursuant to R.S.19:31-19.

     (5)   Any mail-in ballot that is sent to a qualified voter and that is returned to the county clerk for any reason shall be forwarded to the commissioner of registration, who shall so note the return in the voter record of that voter.

(cf:  P.L.2009, c.79, s.3)

 

     2.    Section 6 of P.L.2009, c.79 (C.19:63-6) is amended to read as follows:

     6.    a.  The county clerk, in the case of any Statewide election, countywide election, or school election in a regional or other school district comprising more than one municipality; the municipal clerk, in the case of any municipal election or school election in a school district comprising a single municipality; and the commissioners or other governing or administrative body of the district, in the case of any election to be held in any fire district or other special district, other than a municipality, created for specified public purposes within one or more municipalities, shall publish the following notice in substantially the following form:

     NOTICE TO PERSONS WANTING MAIL-IN BALLOTS

     If you are a qualified and registered voter of the State who wants to vote by mail in the......................... (school, municipal, primary, general, or other) election to be held on................. (date of election) [complete the application form below and send to the undersigned, or write or apply in person to the undersigned at once requesting that a mail-in ballot be forwarded to you.  The request must state your home address and the address to which the ballot should be sent.  The request must be dated and signed with your signature.

     If any person has assisted you to complete the mail-in ballot application, the name, address and signature of the assistor must be provided on the application, and you must sign and date the application for it to be valid and processed.  No person shall serve as an authorized messenger or as a bearer for more than three qualified voters in an election.  No person who is a candidate in the election for which the voter requests a mail-in ballot may provide any assistance in the completion of the ballot or may serve as an authorized messenger or bearer.

     No mail-in ballot will be provided to any applicant who submits a request therefor by mail unless the request is received at least seven days before the election and contains the requested information. A voter may, however, request an application in person from the county clerk up to 3 p.m. of the day before the election.

     Voters who want to vote only by mail in all future general elections in which they are eligible to vote, and who state that on their application shall, after their initial request and without further action on their part, be provided a mail-in ballot by the county clerk until the voter requests that the voter no longer be sent such a ballot. A voter's failure to vote in the fourth general election following the general election at which the voter last voted may result in the suspension of that voter's ability to receive a mail-in ballot for all future general elections unless a new application is completed and filed with the county clerk.] , the following applies:

     You must complete the application form below and send it to the county clerk where you reside or write or apply in person to the county clerk where you reside to request a mail-in ballot.

     The name, address, and signature of any person who has assisted you to complete the mail-in ballot must be provided on the application, and you must sign and date the application.

     No person may serve as an authorized messenger for more than 10 qualified voters in an election.

     No person who is a candidate in the election for which the voter requests a mail-in ballot may provide assistance in the completion of the ballot or serve as an authorized messenger or bearer.

     A person who applies for a mail-in ballot must submit his or her application at least seven days before the election, but such person may request an application in person from the county clerk up to 3 p.m. of the day before the election.

     Voters who want to vote by mail in all future elections will, after their initial request and without further action on their part, be provided with a mail-in ballot until the voter requests otherwise.

     Voters who want to vote only by mail in future general elections only will, after their initial request and without further action on their part, be provided with a mail-in ballot until the voter requests otherwise.

     A voter's failure to vote in four consecutive elections will result in the suspension of that voter's ability to receive a mail-in ballot for future elections, unless a new application is completed and filed with the county clerk.

     [Voters also have the option of indicating on their mail-in ballot applications that they would prefer to receive mail-in ballots for each election that takes place during the remainder of this calendar year.  Voters who exercise this option will be furnished with mail-in ballots for each election that takes place during the remainder of this calendar year, without further action on their part.]

     Application forms may be obtained by applying to the undersigned either in writing or by telephone, or the application form provided below may be completed and forwarded to the undersigned.

     Dated.....................................................

............................................................................

        (signature and title of county clerk)

       .................................... 

         (address of county clerk)

       ....................................

         (telephone no. of county clerk)

     b. (1) The Secretary of State shall be responsible for providing all information regarding overseas ballots to each overseas voter eligible for such a ballot pursuant to P.L.1976, c.23 (C.19:59-1 et seq.).  The secretary shall also make available valid overseas voter registration and ballot applications to any voter who is a member of the armed forces of the United States and who is a permanent resident of this State, or who is an overseas voter who wishes to register to vote or to vote in any jurisdiction in this State.  The secretary shall provide such public notice as may be deemed necessary to inform members of the armed forces of the United States and overseas voters how to obtain valid overseas voter registration and ballot applications.

     (2)   The Secretary of State shall undertake a program to inform voters in this State about their eligibility to vote by mail pursuant to this act.  Dissemination of this information shall be included in the standard notices required by this section and other provisions of current law, including but not limited to the notice requirements of R.S.19:12-7, and shall be effectuated by such means as the secretary deems appropriate and to the extent that funds for such dissemination are appropriated including, but not limited to, by means of Statewide or local electronic media, public service announcements broadcast by such media, notices on the Internet site of the Department of State or any other department or agency of the Executive Branch of State government or its political subdivisions deemed appropriate by the secretary, and special mailings or notices in newspapers or other publications circulating in the counties or municipalities of this State.

     c.     The mail-in ballot materials shall contain a notice that any person voting by mail-in ballot who has registered by mail after January 1, 2003, who did not provide personal identification information when registering and is voting for the first time in his or her current county of residence following registration shall include copies of the required identification information with the mail-in ballot, and that failure to include such information shall result in the rejection of the ballot.

     d.    The notice provided for in subsection a. of this section shall be published before the 55th day immediately preceding the holding of any election.

     Notices relating to any Statewide or countywide election shall be published in at least two newspapers published in each county.  All officials charged with the duty of publishing such notices shall publish the same in at least one newspaper published in each municipality or district in which the election is to be held, or if no newspaper is published in the municipality or district, then in a newspaper published in the county and circulating in the municipality or district.  All such notices shall be display advertisements.

(cf:  P.L.2015, c.84, s.2)

 

     3.    Section 16 of P.L.1974, c.30 (C.19:31-6.4) is amended to read as follows:

     16.  a.  The Secretary of State shall cause to be prepared and shall provide to each county commissioner of registration forms of size and weight suitable for mailing, which shall require the information required by R.S.19:31-3 in substantially the following form:

VOTER REGISTRATION APPLICATION

     Print clearly in ink. Use ballpoint pen or marker.

     (1)   This form is being used as: [(check one)]:

     []New registration

     []Address change

     []Name change

     [] Vote by mail in future elections

     (2)   Name:.....................................................

                  Last              First                 Middle

     (3)   Are you a citizen of the United States of America?[]Yes[]No

     (4)   Will you be 18 years of age on or before election day?[]Yes[] No

     If you checked 'No' in response to either of these questions, do not        complete this form.

     (5)   Street Address where you live:

.........................................................

     Street Address                   Apt. No.

.........................................................

     (6)   City or Town  County Zip Code

     (7)   Address Where You Receive Your Mail (if different from above):

     ............................................................

     (8)   Date of Birth:

     ......................................................

        Month         Day           Year

     (9)   (a)  Telephone Number (optional)......................

            (b)  E-Mail Address (optional).....................

     (10) Name and address of Your Last Voter Registration

     ............................................................

     ............................................................

     ............................................................

     (11) If you are registering by mail to vote and will be voting for the first time in your current county of residence, please provide one of the following:

     (a)   your New Jersey driver's license number:................................

     (b)   the last four digits of your Social Security Number....................

     OR submit with this form a copy of any one of the following documents: a current and valid photo identification card; a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, pay check or any other government or other identifying document that shows your name and current address.  If you do not provide either your New Jersey driver's license number or the last four digits of your Social Security Number, or enclose a copy of one of the documents listed above, you will be asked for identification when voting for the first time, unless you are exempt from doing so under federal or State law.

     (12) Do you wish to declare a political party affiliation? (Optional):

            [] YES.  Name of Party:

            []  NO.  I do not wish to declare a political party affiliation at this time.

     (13) You may choose to receive ballots to vote by mail in future elections by selecting either option listed below.  YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO CHOOSE EITHER OPTION.

            [] I wish to receive a Mail-in Ballot for all future elections, until I request otherwise.

            [] I wish to receive a Mail-in Ballot for all future general elections only, until I request otherwise.

     [(13)](14) Declaration - I swear or affirm that:

     I am a U.S. citizen.

     I live at the above address.

     I will be at least 18 years old on or before the day of the next election.

     I am not on parole, probation or serving a sentence due to a conviction for an indictable offense under any federal or State laws.

     I UNDERSTAND THAT ANY FALSE OR FRAUDULENT REGISTRATION MAY SUBJECT ME TO A FINE OF UP TO $15,000, IMPRISONMENT UP TO FIVE YEARS, OR BOTH PURSUANT TO R.S.19:34-1.

     ...........................................................

     Signature or mark of the registrant           Date

     [(14)](15) If applicant is unable to complete this form, print the name and address of individual who completed this form.

...................................................

            Name

...................................................

            Address

     The form shall state in an appropriate location: "This form shall not be used if an applicant requires the assistance of another person to complete a mail-in ballot or to return a completed mail-in ballot to the county board of elections, pursuant to section 16 of P.L.2009, c.79 (C.19:63-16)."

     In addition, the form may include notice to the applicant of information and options relating to the registration and voting process, including but not limited to notice of qualifications required of a registered voter; notice of the final day by which a person must be registered to be eligible to vote in an election; notice of the effect of a failure to provide required identification information; a place at which the applicant may indicate availability for service as a member of the district board of elections; a place at which the applicant may indicate whether he or she requires a polling place which is accessible to individuals with disabilities and the elderly or whether he or she is legally blind; a place at which the applicant may indicate a desire to receive additional information concerning [absentee] voting by mail; and if  the application indicates a political party affiliation, the voter is permitted to vote in the primary election of a political party other than the political party in which the voter was affiliated previously only if the voter registration form with the change of political party affiliation is filed prior to the 50th day next preceding the primary election.  The form may also include a space for the voter registration agency to record whether the applicant registered in person, by mail or by other means.

     b.    The reverse side of the registration form shall bear the address of the Secretary of State or the commissioner of registration to whom such form is supplied, and a United States postal permit the charges upon which shall be paid by the State.

     c.     The Secretary of State shall cause to be prepared registration forms of the size, weight and form described in subsection a. of this section in both the English and Spanish language and shall provide such forms to each commissioner of registration of any county in which there is at least one election district in which bilingual sample ballots must be provided pursuant to R.S.19:14-21, R.S.19:49-4 or section 2 of P.L.1965, c.29 (C.19:23-22.4).

     d.    The commissioner of registration shall furnish such registration forms upon request in person to any person or organization in such reasonable quantities as such person or organization shall request.  The commissioner shall furnish no fewer than two such forms to any person upon request by mail or by telephone.

     e.     Each such registration form shall have annexed thereto instructions specifying the manner and method of registration, and the vote by mail options specified on the form, and stating the qualifications for an eligible voter.

     f.     The Secretary of State shall also furnish such registration forms and such instructions to the Director of the Division of Workers' Compensation, the Director of the Division of Employment Services, and the Director of the Division of Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development; to the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury; to the Executive Director of the New Jersey Transit Corporation; to the appropriate administrative officer of any other public agency, as defined by subsection a. of section 15 of P.L.1974, c.30 (C.19:31-6.3); to the Adjutant General of the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs; and to the chief administrative officer of any voter registration agency, as defined in subsection a. of section 26 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.19:31-6.11).

     g.    All registration forms received by the Secretary of State in the mail or forwarded to the Secretary of State shall be forwarded to the commissioner of registration in the county of the registrant and to the county clerk if the vote by mail option is selected on a form.

     h.    An application to register to vote received from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission or a voter registration agency, as defined in subsection a. of section 26 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.19:31-6.11), shall be deemed to have been timely made for the purpose of qualifying an eligible applicant as registered to vote in an election if the date on which the commission or agency shall have received that document in completed form, as indicated in the lower right hand corner of the form, was not later than the 21st day preceding that election.

     i.     Each commissioner of registration shall make note in the permanent registration file of each voter who is required to provide the personal identification information required pursuant to this section, as amended, and R.S.19:15-17, R.S.19:31-5 and Pub.L.107-252 (42 U.S.C.s. 15301 et seq.), to indicate the type of identification provided by the voter and the date on which it is provided.  Prior to the June 2004 primary election, when such a newly registered voter seeks to vote for the first time following his or her registration, the voter will be required to provide such personal identification information.  Beginning with the June 2004 primary election, when such a newly registered voter seeks to vote for the first time following his or her registration, the voter will not be required to provide such information if he or she had previously provided the personal identification information required pursuant to this section.  The required information shall be collected and stored for the time and in the manner required pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Secretary of State.

     j.     The Secretary of State shall amend the voter registration application form if necessary to conform to the requirements of applicable federal or State law.

     k.    In the event that the name of any political party entered on the voter registration form by a voter who wishes to declare a political party affiliation is not legible, the commissioner of registration shall mail the voter a political party declaration form and a letter explaining that the voter's choice was not understood and that the voter should complete and return the declaration form in order to be affiliated with a party.

(cf: P.L.2009, c.287, s.1)

 

   4.    Section 1 of P.L.2005, c.145 (C.19:31-31) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    a.  There shall be established in the Department of State a single Statewide voter registration system, as required pursuant to section 303 of the federal "Help America Vote Act of 2002," Pub.L.107-252 (42 U.S.C. s.15483).  The principal computer components of the system shall be under the direct control of the Secretary of State.  The Secretary of State shall be responsible for creating the network necessary to maintain the system and providing the computer software, hardware and security necessary to ensure that the system is accessible only to those executive departments and State agencies so designated by the Secretary of State, each county commissioner of registration, each county and municipal clerk, and individuals under certain circumstances, as provided for by this section.  The system shall be the official State repository for voter registration information for every legally registered voter in this State, and shall serve as the official voter registration system for the conduct of all elections in the State.

     b.    The Statewide voter registration system shall include, but not be limited to, the following features:

     (1)   the name and registration information of every legally registered voter in the State;

     (2)   the ability to assign a unique identifier to each legally registered voter in the State;

     (3)   interactivity among appropriate State agencies so designated by the Secretary of State, each county commissioner of registration, each county board of elections, and each county clerk such that these entities shall have immediate electronic access to all or selected records in the system, as determined by the Secretary of State, to receive or transmit all or selected files in the system and to print or review all or selected files in the system;

     (4)   the ability to permit any county commissioner of registration to enter voter registration information on an expedited basis at the time the information is provided thereto and to permit the Secretary of State to provide technical support to do so whenever needed;

     (5)   the ability to permit each municipal clerk to view or print information in the system;

     (6)   the ability to permit an individual, by July 1, 2006, to verify via the Internet whether that individual, and only that individual, is included in the system as a legally registered voter, whether the information pertaining to that individual required by subsection c. of this section is correct, and if not, a means to notify the pertinent county commissioner of registration of the corrections that must be made and to so verify in a way that does not give one individual access to the information required by subsection c. of this section for any other individual;

     (7)   a Statewide street address index and map in electronic form that can accurately identify the location of every legally registered voter in this State;

     (8)   the ability to record and monitor all requests for mail-in ballots; to enable the county clerk to verify the identity and signature of each person requesting a mail-in ballot; to record the name and address of each voter determined to be eligible to receive a mail-in ballot for a particular election and to note when a mail-in ballot has been transmitted to that voter by mail or hand delivery; to update the system to allow the postal tracking of mail-in ballots using Intelligent Mail barcodes, or a similar successor tracking system; and to make such information available to the Secretary of State so that a voter can be notified whether the application for such a ballot was accepted or rejected, and the reason for the rejection, using the free-access system established by section 5 of P.L.2004, c.88 (C.19:61-5); and

     (9)   any other functions required pursuant to Pub.L.107-252 (42 U.S.C. s.15301 et seq.), or Title 19 of the Revised Statutes, or that may be deemed necessary by the Secretary of State.

     c.     The Statewide voter registration system shall include, but not be limited to, the following information for every legally registered voter in this State:

     (1)   last, first and middle name;

     (2)   street address at time of registration or rural route, box number or apartment number, if any;

     (3)   city or municipality, and zip code;

     (4)   date of birth;

     (5)   telephone number and e-mail address, if provided on voter registration form;

     (6)   previous name or address if individual re-registered due to change of name or address;

     (7)   ward and election district number, if either is available;

     (8) (a) current and valid New Jersey driver's license number; or

     (b)   if the registrant has not been issued a New Jersey driver's license number, the last four digits of the registrant's social security number; or

     (c)   unique identifying number for any individual who has not been issued the information sought in subparagraph (a) or (b) of this paragraph;

     (9)   notation that a copy of one of the following documents has been submitted with the voter registration application, if required: current and valid photo identification card; a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, pay check or any other government document showing the registrant's name and current address;

     (10)  the method by which the individual registered and whether that person needs to provide additional identification information to vote using a voting machine instead of a provisional ballot;

     (11)  political party affiliation, if designated;

     (12)  digitalized signature;

     (13)  date of registration or re-registration;

     (14)  name and street address of the individual assisting in the completion of the form, if the applicant for registration is unable to do so;

     (15)  voting participation record for ten-year period; and

     (16)  any other information required pursuant to Pub.L.107-252 (42 U.S.C. s.15301 et seq.), or Title 19 of the Revised Statutes, or that the Secretary of State determines is necessary to assess the eligibility of an individual to be registered to vote and to vote in
this State.

(cf: P.L.2009, c.287, s.2)

 

     5.    Section 5 of P.L.2009, c.79 (C.19:63-5) is amended to read as follows:

     5.    In the case of any election, the application for a mail-in ballot shall be made to the county clerk.  The county clerk shall stamp thereon the date on which the application was received in the clerk's office.

     In the case of applications for overseas federal election voter ballots, as provided for in P.L.1976, c.23 (C.19:59-1 et seq.), no application shall be refused on the grounds that it was submitted too early.

     In the case of voter registration forms that include a selected vote by mail option, a copy of each such form shall be transmitted to and received by the appropriate county clerk, who shall be responsible for providing mail-in ballots to each qualified voter requesting such ballots for the future elections indicated on the voter registration form, until the voter requests otherwise. 

(cf: P.L.2009, c.79, s.5)

 

     6.    Section 13 of P.L.2009, c.79 (C.19:63-13) is amended to read as follows:

     13.  a.  On the margin of the flap on the inner envelopes to be sent to mail-in voters there shall be printed a certificate in the following form: 

              CERTIFICATE OF MAIL-IN VOTER

     I, ........................., whose home address is ..............

      (print your name clearly)                         (street

..............................................., DO HEREBY CERTIFY,

     address or R.D. number) (municipality) [Subject] subject to the penalties for fraudulent voting, that I am the person who applied for the enclosed ballot.  I MARKED AND SEALED THIS BALLOT AND CERTIFICATE IN SECRET.  However, a family member may assist me in doing so.

                             ...............................

                               (signature of voter)

     Any person providing assistance shall complete the following:

     I do hereby certify that I am the person who provided assistance to this voter and declare that I will maintain the secrecy of this ballot. 

                             ...............................

                               (signature of person providing

                               assistance)

                             ...............................

                               (printed name of person providing

                               assistance)

                             ...............................

                               ...............................

                               (address of person providing

                               assistance)

     b.    On the margin of the flap on the inner envelope forwarded with any mail-in ballot intended to be voted in any primary election for the general election, as the case may be, there shall be printed a certificate in the following form:

              CERTIFICATE OF MAIL-IN VOTER

     I, ........................., whose home address is..............

      (print your name clearly)                         (street address or R.D. number) (municipality)

............................................... , DO HEREBY CERTIFY,

subject to the penalties for fraudulent voting, that I am the person who applied for the enclosed ballot for the primary election.  I MARKED AND SEALED THIS BALLOT AND CERTIFICATE IN SECRET.  However, a family member may assist me in doing so.

                                   ..............................

                                             (signature of voter)

     Any person providing assistance shall complete the following:

     I do hereby certify that I am the person who provided assistance to this voter and declare that I will maintain the secrecy of this ballot. 

                                   ..............................

                                             (signature of person providing

                                             assistance)

                                   ..............................

                                             (printed name of person

                                      providing assistance)

                                   ..............................

                                     ..............................

                                      (address of person providing

                                      assistance)

     c.     The clerk of each county shall be permitted to affix to the margin of the flap on the inner envelope of the mail-in ballot transmitted thereby to a mail-in ballot voter an alternative certificate, substantially similar to the certificate provided for by subsection a. or b. of this section, that permits the voter to certify the correctness of the voter's name, street, mailing address or R.D. number, and municipality as it appears on the label of the mail-in ballot received by the voter.

(cf: P.L.2011, c.134, s.53)

 

     7.    Section 20 of P.L.2009, c.79 (C.19:63-20) is amended to read as follows:

     20.  a.  Any person who has applied for a mail-in ballot and has had the mail-in ballot either delivered in person or forwarded by mail, and voted and returned the voted ballot to the county board, shall not be permitted to vote in person at the polling place in the voter's election district on the day of the election.

     b.    Any person who: (1) has applied for a mail-in ballot and not received either the ballot or an explanation for not receiving such a ballot pursuant to notification by the county clerk or from the free-access system established pursuant to section 5 of P.L.2004, c.88 (C.19:61-5) to provide such information; [or] (2) has applied for and received a mail-in ballot and has not transmitted it to the county board of elections or given it to a bearer for delivery to the county board before the time for the opening of the polls on the day of an election; or (3) has applied for and received a mail-in ballot and has not transmitted it to the county board of elections or given it to the bearer for delivery to the county board, but appears at the polling place without the ballot and wishes to vote, shall be permitted to vote in person by provisional ballot at the polling place in the voter's election district on the day of the election.

(cf: P.L.2009, c.79, s.20)

 

   8.    (New section)  Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S.19:14-25 or R.S.19:23-30 to the contrary, the sample ballot for a general election, or any other election, shall not be mailed to any qualified voter who has been sent a mail-in ballot for that election, pursuant to section 3 of P.L.2009, c.79 (C.19:63-3).

 

     9.    This act shall take effect on the January 1 next following the day of enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill changes current law to enable a registered voter to vote by mail-in ballot in all future elections or for future general elections only.  The bill also provides that, if a voter who requested a mail-in ballot for all future elections does not vote by such means in four consecutive elections, the voter will receive a mail-in ballot for future general elections only and the ability of the voter to receive a mail-in ballot for all other elections would be suspended until the voter submits a new application indicating that the voter wishes to vote in all future elections.

     Under current law, a registered voter can choose to vote by mail-in ballot in all future general elections, until the voter notifies the county clerk that the voter no longer wishes to do so, or unless the voter fails to vote in the fourth general election following the general election in which the voter last voted.  Current law also gives the registered voter who applies for a mail-in ballot the option to receive a mail-in ballot for each election occurring in the remainder of that calendar year.

     Current law provides that if a voter who has requested a mail-in ballot for future general elections only does not vote in the fourth general election following the general election at which the voter last voted, the county clerk will send a notice to that voter to ascertain whether he or she continues to reside at the address from which that voter is registered to vote.  The bill provides that if the notice is not completed and returned before the next subsequent general election, a mail-in ballot will not be sent to the voter for that general election.  The ability of such a voter to receive a mail-in ballot for future general elections only would be suspended until the voter submits a new application for such a ballot that indicates that the voter wishes to receive a mail-in ballot for all future elections, or for future general elections only.

     Finally, the bill: 1) provides that a sample ballot for an election would not be sent to any qualified voter who has applied for and has been sent a mail-in ballot for that election; 2) requires the Secretary of State to update the Statewide Voter Registration System to allow the postal tracking of mail-in ballots using Intelligent Mail barcodes, or a similar successor tracking system; 3) reformats the text of the required public notice concerning the use of mail-in ballots that appears in newspapers before an election; and 4) permits the clerk of each county to use an alternative mail-in ballot certification that permits the voter to certify the correctness of the identifying information contained on the label of the ballot instead of requiring the voter to provide the voter's name and address on the certification.

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