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Bills to discourage electioneering, expand mail-in ballot applications advance

NEW JERSEY – The Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee advanced two bills, both sponsored by Senator James Beach and one additionally sponsored by Senator Shirley Turner that are aimed at combatting electioneering and providing more access to mail-in voting applications.

“These bills will strengthen the integrity of our elections and encourage citizens to take a more active role in the voting process. By prohibiting electioneering within twenty-five feet of those waiting to vote, as well as making mail-in ballot applications more accessible when people go to their polling places, we can protect voters from intimidation and increase participation,” said Beach (D-Burlington/Camden), the Chair of the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee.

The bill, S-1230, would prohibit electioneering within 25 feet of a person waiting in line at a polling place or ballot drop box in an area that is farther than 100 feet from the polling place or ballot drop box.

Violations of this provision would constitute a disorderly persons offense. A disorderly persons offense can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.

“Under current law, electioneering is only prohibited inside a polling place and within 100 feet of the outside entrance to a polling place or a ballot drop box. Due to this, voters who have to wait in a line can be subject to attempts to influence their vote,” said Senator Turner (D-Hunterdon/Mercer). “By further prohibiting potentially intimidating activity targeted at voters, our elections will be more secure and voters will feel safer when casting their ballots.”

The bill, S-1255, would require mail-in ballot applications to be available at polling places on Election Day in future elections. The County Clerk would be required to make these applications available.

The bills were both advanced in unanimous votes.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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