“Voting is essential to our democracy. We must tear down barriers to voting and make it easier – not harder – for people to engage in the political process.”
Phil believes that we are a better, stronger, more representative democracy when more people participate. Across the nation, Republicans have systematically tried to disenfranchise voters – an effort Governor Christie has supported here in New Jersey in an effort to cater to national right-wing special interests.
New Jersey ranked just 29th in turnout in the 2016 presidential election. As governor, Phil Murphy will empower voters and increase participation by:
- Making voter registration easier through:
- Automatic voter registration: Five states have automatic voter registration at their Motor Vehicle Commissions (MVC). This means that residents are automatically registered to vote when they visit the MVC unless they opt out. Governor Christie vetoed a law that would make NJ the sixth such empowering state.
- Online voter registration: There is no reason why our residents should be able to bank and shop online, but not register to vote. 38 states have already moved towards online voter registration in some form. NJ should follow suit.
- Same-day voter registration: Sixteen states have authorized voters to register the day of elections. NJ requires that our residents register 21 days before an election – Phil believes we should eliminate this requirement.
- Allowing early voting: 21 states allow residents to vote early at the polls prior to election day — easing the burden for working families that cannot get to the polls in person. Governor Christie vetoed a bill that would have required counties to establish between three and seven polling places available for early voting during the 15 days prior to the election.
- Allowing 17-year-olds to vote in primaries if they will be 18 by election day: Currently, New Jersey citizens who turn 18 after the primary but before the general election are put in an unfair position where they have to vote for the candidates on the ballot but did not have a say in choosing who is on the ballot. 24 states allow these voters to vote in the primary as well, and New Jersey should join them.