We wrote all the election bills that vastly expanded voter access this year in NJ.
Who are we?
- Did you use a Ballot Drop Box this year? THAT WAS US.
- Did you use the Track My Ballot voter portal? THAT WAS US.
- Do you worry that your ballot will get rejected due to your signature not matching in any way? Well, don’t worry because WE WROTE THE LAW that prohibits your ballot from being rejected due to this.
ATNJ Education Fund has led the largest expansion of Vote By Mail in New Jersey in the last three years. The growth of voting by mail has increased dramatically with our efforts reaching nearly 400,000 registered infrequent voters. Our goal was to instill a new voting habit since Election Day Polling Place voting presented obstacles among many under-represented communities. The model state on VBM, Colorado, showed that adding VBM as an option resulted in increased turnout in the aggregate. Prior to the pandemic, due to our voter outreach work and the work of many other organizations, we saw a dramatic increase in votes cast by VBM ballots.
With our experience on the ground to voters, we became experts on the voting system here in New Jersey. We led the greatest voter expansion this year. We wrote and were the architect of three bills that passed into law this August:
Legislators and legislative/policy staffers: for further clarification or information needed for legislation, please contact Winn@ATNJEF.org
- “VBM Education/Postmark Bill” A4320/S2633: eliminates the requirement of a postmark if received by the Board of Elections within 48 hours of poll closed to reduce a portion of ballots rejected due to BAP (Ballots received After Polls closed).
- Ballot Drop Box Act A4475/S2580: at least doubles the number of secure ballot drop boxes for voters to bypass USPS delivery delays to reduce a portion of ballots rejected due to BAP (Ballots received After Polls closed).
- Ballot Cure Act A4276/S2598: gives voters the ability to provide a cure to their mail-in ballot.
Barriers to Election Day voting
Voting on Election Day at local polling stations is a barrier and a burden to many voters across economic, education, racial, and mobility spectrums. This includes those who do not have the means of transportation to get to their polling place or the money needed for transportation. It’s also a barrier for those with mobility issues including those who are not physically able to get out of the house and polling places without handicap accessibility. It can be impossible to get to the polls during open hours if the voter cannot get off work in time before the polls close. For workers who work the second or third shift, multiple shifts, or 24-hour shifts, getting to their polling station in Election Day is nearly impossible. The placement of polling stations and closures and consolidations have also been shown to negatively impact voters of color and minority communities. Voting from home with prepaid postage becomes an avenue for voters burdened by Election Day polling place voting.