Updates from Executive Order 144 in red.

Voting needs to be accessible to as many people as possible and no singular voting method can fit all citizens. Voting is not a one-size-fits-all. But in the face of COVID-19, aggressive mitigation must be undertaken to prevent community spread. Most poll workers are seniors and they are most at risk from coronavirus.

Have in-person voting locations with mitigation plans to enforce physical distancing.

This was the big one and we got most of what we asked for! Please read the details on this EO 144, Section 7, a-i for details.

  1. Provides an option to reach voters who may not have an address, who may fail to receive a ballot, who may have opted out of VBM, or who may have inconsistent or problematic mail delivery.
  2. Can mirror many COVID-19 compliance procedures already taking place in grocery stores.
  3. Cannot be a stand-alone due to the time it takes to process voters following COVID-19 compliance measures

Recommended Legislation

These requirements are based on CDC Guidance to Businesses and Employers from what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).  With exceptions where noted below, the board of elections shall be required to have:

  1. COVID-19 Compliance for facilities
    1. If possible, provide online sign-up for appointment windows during extended voting days to manage the volume and flow of voters.
    2. Place conspicuous signs discouraging the physical contact (eg. handshakes) and nonessential visitors, and describing in words and pictures the COVID-19 compliance requirements of masks and physical distance.
    3. Provide dedicated time for seniors and those with pre-existing conditions to vote separate from the general population of voters.
    4. If feasible, use infrared, no-contact thermometers to check for temperature and fevers of workers and voters prior to entrance into the facility.
    5. Each polling place shall have disposable gloves and made freely available to voters upon entrance and to voters and poll workers in the facility
    6. Workers must practice COVID-19 compliance guidelines pursuant to 19:63-17.
    7. Consult with voting machine manufacturers on appropriate disinfectant products for machines and all associated electronics.  Use wipeable covers for electronics where possible.
    8. Any surfaces touched more than one voter shall be disinfected between each use with alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol.
    9. All voting booths must be placed at least six feet apart where there is spacing available at the polling facilities.  If not feasible, voters using the voting booths will be staggered in such a way so as to prevent voters from coming in within 6 feet of other voters and election workers.
    10. All voters and workers must be able to perform their tasks freely without coming in contact with visitors or other workers and maintain at least six feet of physical distance at all times
    11. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with a minimum of 60% alcohol must be available and placed in visible, frequently-used locations in the facility
    12. Bathrooms must be supplied adequately with soap, water, and disposable drying materials
    13. Tools and supplies shall be made for voters to vote successfully and safely
    14. Facial cloth coverings or disposable masks shall be required to be worn by all voters and workers and provided freely to all voters and workers upon entrance.  Voters and workers can bring and wear their own facial coverings.
    15. Place visual markers for voters to observe and follow the necessary physical distancing such as directional arrows and painted or taped lines for the queue.
    16. The chain of voting shall be planned to minimize contact and passing back-and-forth between election workers and voters as much as possible.
    17. Where needed and if possible, plexiglass screens shall be installed in highly frequented processing stations between voters and election workers such as during sign in.
  2. Adequate number of polling places so as to be:
    1. Pursuant to the requirements of 19:8-2 and ADA compliant per 19:8-3.3 and based on the number of employees available to work as per 1.a. of this section, provided that the polling places can be staffed for extended voting days and election day following COVID-19 compliance in section (1).  These facilities may include, but are not limited to, municipal clerk’s office, board of elections office, town hall, police station, firehouse, city offices, public libraries, county offices, corporate centers, local businesses, offices of community organizations, and unused event and hotel centers. 
    2. Not within 1000 feet of nursing homes, long-term care facilities, senior living residences, and other locations where there can be exposure of coronavirus to older individuals and those with chronic medical conditions.
  3. Adequate number of staff so as to be:
    1. Able to meet the COVID-19 space planning requirements under section (1).
    2. Available to work at polling places from 15 days prior to Election Day for a period of 30 days or as many days as needed to complete the collection, processing, and tabulation of all ballots and to certify the election.
    3. Paid the New Jersey hourly minimum wage pursuant to 19:45-6
  4. Polling places that are opened and staffed during Extended Voting Days and until 8pm on Election Day
Image: MSN News