SENATE, No. 4044

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

220th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JUNE 27, 2023

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator ANDREW ZWICKER

District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Changes MVC voter registration procedures.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning voter registration with the Motor Vehicle Commission and amending various parts of the statutory law.

 

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

 

†††† 1.††† R.S.19:31-6 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 19:31-6.† Any person qualified to vote in an election shall be entitled to vote in the election if the person shall have registered to vote on or before the 21st day preceding the election by:

†††† a.†††† registering in person at any offices designated by the commissioner of registration for providing and receiving registration forms;

†††† b.††† [completing a voter registration form] registering or being registered to vote while applying for a motor vehicle driver's license from an agent of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, as provided for in section 24 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.39:2-3.2);

†††† c.†††† completing and returning to the Secretary of State or having returned thereto a voter registration form received from a voter registration agency, as defined in subsection a. of section 26 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.19:31-6.11), while applying for services or assistance or seeking a recertification, renewal or change of address at an office of that agency;

†††† d.††† completing and returning to the Secretary of State a voter registration form obtained from a public agency, as defined in subsection a. of section 15 of P.L.1974, c.30 (C.19:31-6.3);

†††† e.†††† completing and returning to the Secretary of State or having returned thereto a voter registration form received from a door-to-door canvass or mobile registration drive, as provided for in section 19 of P.L.1974, c.30 (C.19:31-6.7);

†††† f.†††† completing and returning to the Secretary of State a federal mail voter registration form, as prescribed in subsection (b) of section 9 of the "National Voter Registration Act of 1993," (42 U.S.C. s. 1973gg et seq.);

†††† g.††† completing and returning to the Secretary of State or the appropriate county clerk an application for a federal postcard application form to register to vote, as permitted pursuant to the federal "Uniform and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act" 52 U.S.C. s.120301 et seq.) and section 4 of P.L.1976, c.23 (C.19:59-4);

†††† h.††† completing a provisional ballot affirmation statement and voting the provisional ballot in the previous election, if the person who submitted the provisional ballot in that election is determined not to be a registered voter; or

†††† i.†††† completing and submitting an online voter registration form available on the Secretary of State's Internet website, as provided under section 1 of P.L.2019, c.382 (C.19:31-6.4c).

†††† When the commissioner has designated a place or places other than his office for receiving registrations, the commissioner shall cause to be published a notice in a newspaper circulated in the municipality wherein such place or places of registration shall be located.† Such notice shall be published pursuant to R.S.19:12-7.

†††† Any office designated by the commissioner of registration for receiving registration forms shall have displayed, in a conspicuous location, registration and voting instructions.† These instructions shall be the same as those provided for polling places under R.S.19:9-2 and shall be provided by the commissioner

(cf: P.L.2022, c.72, s.16)

 

†††† 2.††† Section 17 of P.L.1974, c.30 (C.19:31-6.5) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 17. a. Upon receipt of any completed registration form, the commissioner of registration shall review it, and if it is found to be in order, shall:

†††† (1)†† Send to the registrant written notification that such registrant is duly registered to vote.† No registrant shall be considered a registered voter until the commissioner of registration reviews the application submitted by the registrant and deems it acceptable.† On the face of such notification in the upper left-hand corner shall be printed the words:† "Do Not Forward. Return Postage Guaranteed.† If not delivered in 2 days, return to the Commissioner of Registration."

†††† (2)†† In as timely a manner as possible, enter the information provided for the registrant on the completed registration form, or electronically transfer the information from an online voter registration form completed pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2019, c.382 (C.19:31-6.4c) or received electronically from the Motor Vehicle Commission pursuant to section 24 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.39:2-3.2), into the Statewide voter registration system established pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2005, c.145 (C.19:31-31).

†††† (3)†† Paste, tape, or photocopy the completed registration form onto an original registration form, and shall paste or tape a copy of such completed registration form onto a duplicate registration form, both of which shall be filed as provided in R.S.19:31-10.† Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude any commissioner of registration from keeping the original mail registration form on file.

†††† (4)†† In the case of a registrant currently registered in another county of this State, notify the commissioner of registration of such other county to remove the individual's name from the registry list of voters of the county and place into an appropriate retention file all registration documents or material relating to that voter.† The commissioner of registration of the current county of the registrant shall secure and maintain the entire voting history of that registrant.

†††† b.††† The commissioner shall notify a registrant of the reasons for any refusal to approve his registration.†

†††† c.†††† (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1994, c.182.)

(cf: P.L.2019, c.382, s.3)

 

†††† 3.††† Section 4 of P.L.2018, c.6 (C.19:31-6.14) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 4. a. Any State agency, except for the Motor Vehicle Commission, that the Secretary of State verifies already collects sufficient information, including through documents or database verification, that would provide proof of eligibility, including age, citizenship, and residence address, may establish and implement, upon approval by the Secretary of State, a procedure for automatically and electronically transmitting voter registration information to the Secretary of State of persons who are eligible to vote for the purpose of registering such persons to vote or updating their voter registration. Each person from whom such information is collected shall be offered an opportunity to decline automatic voter registration. Any such agency, as well as the Secretary of State and each county commissioner of registration, shall comply with the requirements, to the extent applicable as determined by the Secretary of State, as established in subsections b. through d. of section 24 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.39:2-3.2).

†††† b.††† Subject to compliance with all applicable federal laws and regulations, the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services in the Department of Human Services shall automatically and electronically transmit voter registration information to the Secretary of State for each person who applies to the New Jersey Medical Assistance and Health Services Program, who is of sufficient age to register to vote, and who is externally verified as a United States citizen as part of an application to that division. †In processing information received from that division, the Secretary of State, and each county commissioner of registration shall comply with the requirements established in subsections b. through d. of section 24 of P.L.1994, c.183 (C.39:2-3.2), to the extent applicable as determined by the Secretary of State.

†††† c.†††† Subject to compliance with all applicable federal laws and regulations, the Department of Corrections shall automatically and electronically transmit voter registration information to the Secretary of State for each person who is released from incarceration under the custody of the department, who is of sufficient age to register to vote, and who is verified as a United States citizen in department records. †In processing information received from the department, the Secretary of State, and each county commissioner of registration shall comply with the requirements established in subsections b. through d. of section 24 of P.L.1994, c.183 (C.39:2-3.2), to the extent applicable as determined by the Secretary of State.

†††† d.††† Any additional agencies that are designated for automatic voter registration pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall comply with the requirements, to the extent applicable as determined by the Secretary of State, as established in section 24 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.39:2-3.2) for automatic voter registration and shall provide the notices required pursuant to subsection [c.] b. through d. of this section to each person from whom such information is collected.

†††† e.†††† Pursuant to section 21 of P.L.1974, c.30 (C:19:31-6.9), the Secretary of State shall develop procedures for processing electronic records received from an agency pursuant to this section without a digitized image of the applicantís signature.

(cf: P.L.2018, c.6, s.4)

 

†††† 4.††† R.S.19:31-11 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 19:31-11. a.† In all counties within the State, change of residence notices shall be made: (1) by a written request, signed by the registrant, forwarded to the commissioner by mail, and actually received by the commissioner; (2) by calling in person at the office of the commissioner or the municipal clerk; or (3) by completing and submitting a change of residence notice online as provided by the Secretary of State.† Change of residence information shall also be received from the Motor Vehicle Commission and processed pursuant to subsection d. of section 24 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.39:2-3.2).† The commissioner shall provide change of residence notices in card form for the use of any registered voter moving to another address within the same election district; to another election district within the same county; or to another election district in another county for processing as provided under subsection c. of this section.† Copies of these notices shall also be available at the office of the municipal clerk in each municipality.† Each municipal clerk shall transmit daily to the commissioner all the filled out change of residence notices that may be in the municipal clerk's office at the time.† These notices shall be printed upon cards, shall contain a blank form showing where the applicant last resided and the address and exact location to which the applicant has moved and shall have a line for the applicant's signature, printed name and date of birth.† Upon receipt of such change of residence notice the commissioner shall cause the signature to be compared with the registration forms of the applicant and, if such signature appears to be of and by one and the same legal voter, the commissioner shall cause the entry of the change of residence to be made on those registration forms and the registrant shall thereupon be qualified to vote in the election district to which the registrant shall have so moved.† If the commissioner is not satisfied as to the signature on the request for a change of residence, a confirmation notice as prescribed by subsection d. of R.S.19:31-15 shall be sent by mail with postage prepaid to the registrant at the new address.

†††† The application for change of residence shall be filed with the commissioner or municipal clerk, as the case may be, on or before the 21st day preceding any election.

†††† b.††† In any county any voter who, prior to an election, shall move within the same county after the time above prescribed for filing an application for change of residence without having made application for change of residence, or who has not returned a confirmation notice sent to the voter by the commissioner of registration of the county, if such a notice has been sent to the voter, or who has not moved since the previous election but whose registration information is missing or otherwise deficient, or has otherwise failed to notify the commissioner of registration of the voter's change of address within the county, shall be permitted to vote in that election in the district to which the voter has moved, upon making a written affirmation regarding the change of address at the polling place of the district in which the voter resides on the day of the election.† No identifying document shall be required from the voter for this affirmation.† A district board member shall provide the voter with a provisional ballot, and an envelope with an affirmation statement that conforms with the requirements for such documents contained in subsection b. of section 7 of P.L.1999, c.232 (C.19:53C-1).† The voter shall complete the provisional ballot and affirmation statement, place the ballot in the envelope, seal and return it to the district board member.† The board member shall review the information in the affirmation statement for completeness before forwarding it for inspection, tabulation and notation by the county board of elections, as provided for by sections 7 through 26 of P.L.1999, c.232 (C.19:53C-1 through C.19:53C-20).† The affirmation statement shall constitute a transfer to the registrant's new residence for any subsequent election.† However, if the voter has moved from one residence to another within the same election district at any time, the voter shall be permitted to vote in such election district at any election in the same manner as other voters at the polling place upon written affirmation by the registrant to the district board member of the registrant's change of address.

†††† c.†††† A voter who moves from an election district in one county to an election district in another county prior to the close of registration preceding an election shall register in the new county of residence, in accordance with the provisions of R.S.19:31-6, or shall file a change of residence notice with the commissioner of either county or complete and submit that notice online as provided by the Secretary of State, or have their registration updated pursuant to subsection d. of section 24 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.39:2-3.2), in order to be permitted to vote.† A change of residence notice filed by a voter pursuant to this subsection shall cause the commissioners of the county of previous residence and the county of new residence to update the voter registration record of that voter.† The commissioner of the county of new residence shall notify the voter by mail that the voter is now registered to vote in that county or, if the notice submitted by the voter is incomplete, to request any additional information or documentation necessary to finalize the change of residence notice.† Nothing in this subsection shall be interpreted to waive the requirement specified under R.S.19:31-5 that the voter shall have been a resident of the county of new residence for at least 30 days prior to being eligible to vote in any election in that county.

(cf: P.L.2022, c.67, s.12)

 

†††† 5.††† R.S.19:31-13 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 19:31-13.† Whenever the registrant after his or her original registration shall change his or her name due to marriage, divorce, or by judgment of court, the registrant shall in person or by mail submit to the commissioner of registration a written statement notifying the commissioner of the change, which statement shall take such form, and be printed on a postal card suitable for mailing of such design, as the Attorney General shall prescribe and shall be signed by the registrant.† A registrant may complete the form online as provided by the Secretary of State. †Change of name information shall also be received from the Motor Vehicle Commission and processed pursuant to subsection d. of section 24 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.39:2-3.2). †The commissioner, upon receipt of such a notice of change of name, shall revise accordingly the name of the registrant as it appears among the items of information concerning the registrant included on the registrant's registration forms, shall make a photographic copy of the notice of name change submitted by the registrant, and shall affix the original notice so submitted to the registrant's original registration form and the photographic copy of that notice to the registrant's duplicate registration record.

†††† When notice of such change in name has not been received by or filed with the commissioner prior to the 21st day preceding any election, such person may be permitted to vote under the name under which the person was registered prior to that change at the first election following such change in name at which the person shall appear to vote, after signing the signature copy register with both the registered name and his or her new name.† The commissioner shall then revise accordingly the name of the registrant as it appears on the registrant's registration forms, make a photographic copy of the notice, and affix the original and copy of the notice to the registrant's permanent registration forms as hereinabove prescribed.

(cf: P.L.2022, c.67, s.13)

†††† 6.††† Section 24 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.39:2-3.2) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 24. a. The Secretary of State, with the assistance of the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, shall provide for an eligible applicant to simultaneously apply for a motor vehicle driver's license, an examination permit, a probationary driver's license, or a non-driver identification card, as applicable, and be automatically registered to vote, or have an existing voter registration updated, in a manner which satisfies both the requirements necessary to receive a license to operate a motor vehicle, pursuant to R.S.39:3-10, or an examination permit, a probationary driver's license, or a non-driver identification card, as applicable, and to register to vote, pursuant to R.S.19:4-1.† The applicant shall be offered an opportunity to decline the automatic voter registration under this section.† If an applicant changes the applicant's party affiliation when updating an existing voter registration under this section, the applicant shall be sent a confirmation notice by the county commissioner of registration noting that change.

†††† b. (1) Pursuant to subsection a. of this section, for every application for a motor vehicle driverís license, an examination permit, a probationary driverís license, or a non-driver identification card, and each related update, renewal, or change of address, where, in the course of business with the Motor Vehicle Commission, the applicant provides documentation demonstrating United States citizenship, is not already registered to vote in the State of New Jersey, and is of sufficient age to register to vote, the Chief Administrator shall promptly transmit electronically to the Secretary of State the applicantís:

(a) name;

(b) date of birth;

(c) driverís license or state ID number;

(d) residence address, and mailing address if different from the residence address;

(e) county of residence;

(f) citizenship status;

(g) signature as a digitized image;

(h) telephone number, if available; and

(i) e-mail address, if available.

†††† The Chief Administrator shall not transmit information for any person who is a participant in the Address Confidentiality Program pursuant to R.S.47:4-1.† Nothing in this section shall be construed to amend the substantive qualifications for voter registration in this State, or to require documentary proof of citizenship for voter registration.† Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the Motor Vehicle Commission to request documentation establishing an applicantís citizenship solely for the purposes of voter registration.

†††† (2) Upon receiving information pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection for a person who is not registered to vote in the State of New Jersey, is of sufficient age to register to vote, and has provided documentation demonstrating United States citizenship in the course of business with the Motor Vehicle Commission, unless the Secretary of State determines that the person is ineligible to register to vote or is a member of the Address Confidentiality Program pursuant to R.S.47:4-1, the Secretary of State shall transmit the personís information to the appropriate county commissioner of registration.

†††† (3) Upon receiving information pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection, a county commissioner of registration shall proceed to register the person to vote pursuant to R.S.19:31-6.5 and send to the personís address of record, by nonforwardable mail, a notice that the person has been registered to vote that contains a postage paid preaddressed return form by which the person may affiliate with a political party or decline to be registered.† Such notice shall also provide an option for the person to apply for and receive a mail-in ballot as provided under section 3 of P.L.2009, c.79 (C.19:63-3), until the voter requests otherwise.† A notice mailed pursuant to this paragraph shall include an explanation of the eligibility requirements to register to vote.† The notice shall also state the penalties for submission of a false application.

†††† (4) The notice provided under paragraph (3) of this subsection shall also include a statement that, if the person declines to register to vote, the fact that the person has declined registration will remain confidential and will be used only for election administration purposes, and a statement that, if a person does not decline registration, the office at which the person was registered will remain confidential and will be used only for election administration purposes.† The notice shall also provide information and procedures for anyone wishing to prevent disclosure of their street address.

†††† (5) The Secretary of State shall prescribe the form of the notice required under paragraph (3) of this subsection. †Such notice may be combined with the notice provided to newly registered voters pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection a. of P.L.1974, c.30 (C:19:31-6.5). †The notice shall include the required information in English and Spanish, as well any additional language which is the primary language of five percent or more of the registered voters in the county where the notice is mailed.

†††† (6) If a person returns the notice provided under paragraph (3) of this subsection and declines to be registered, the personís registration shall be cancelled, and the person shall be deemed to have never registered. †However, if the person has voted in an election after the transfer of the personís record but before the notice is returned, the returned form shall be of no force and effect and the person shall be registered as of the date of the personís application with the Motor Vehicle Commission.

†††† (7) If a person returns the notice provided under paragraph (3) of this subsection and affiliates with a political party, the person shall be registered to vote as of the date of the personís application with the Motor Vehicle Commission and the personís affiliation shall be marked effective as of the date the affiliation information is received.

†††† (8) If the person returns the notice provided under paragraph (3) of this subsection but does not select any options or provide any new information, the form shall be of no force and effect, and the person shall remain registered to vote.

†††† (9) If a notice provided under paragraph (3) of this subsection is returned as undeliverable, the county commissioner of registration shall send the person a confirmation notice pursuant to subsection d. of R.S.19:31-15.

†††† (10) Information relating to the return of a notice form declining to be registered shall not be used for any purpose other than election administration. †Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit, or in any way restrict, any action where such prohibition or restriction would be contrary to federal law. †However, documents, records, or information relating to an individual personís decision declining to be registered shall not be disclosed for any purpose related to Title 8 of the United States Code without the personís informed consent, a warrant signed by a State or federal judge, or a lawful court order or subpoena.† An individualís notice form declining to be registered is not considered a government record pursuant to P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.) or the common law concerning access to government records.

†††† c.†††† (1) Pursuant to subsection a. of this section, for every application for a motor vehicle driver's license, an examination permit, a probationary driver's license, or a non-driver identification card, and each related update, renewal, or change of address, by a person who is not already registered to vote in the State of New Jersey and whose information is not subject to transmission to the Secretary of State pursuant to subsection b. of this section, except as provided in [paragraphs] paragraph (2) [and (3)] of this subsection, the Chief Administrator shall ensure that the information necessary for voter registration is collected from the application and promptly transmitted electronically to the Secretary of State.† The Chief Administrator shall ensure that electronic records are not transmitted to the Secretary of State for any applicant who has declined registration under this subsection.† The Commissioner of Registration shall register to vote or update an existing registration for any eligible applicant who has not declined voter registration under this subsection.† However, any person who, at the time of the transaction with the Motor Vehicle Commission, provides a document that conclusively demonstrates that the person is not a United States citizen shall not be offered the opportunity to register to vote.

†††† (2) [Voter registration information from an application received online for the renewal of a motor vehicle driver's license or non-driver identification card shall be collected and promptly transmitted electronically to the Secretary of State upon the implementation by the Secretary of State of online voter registration.† Subsection c. of this section shall be inapplicable to such applications until that time.

†††† (3)] Voter registration information from an application received through the mail for the renewal of a motor vehicle driver's license or non-driver identification card shall be exempt from collection and electronic transmission to the Secretary of State until such time as the Chief Administrator determines that the prompt electronic transmission of the information is practicable.† Subsection [c.] d. of this section shall be inapplicable to such applications until that time.† Following the effective date of P.L.2018, c.6, the Chief Administrator shall inform the Governor and the Legislature every six months of the practicability of collecting and transmitting to the Secretary of State voter registration information from such applications.† This paragraph shall not be construed to preclude the Motor Vehicle Commission from processing voter registration applications received in the manner in which such applications were processed in connection with such renewals prior to the effective date of P.L.2018, c.6.

†††† [c.] (3) The Chief Administrator shall provide for the following notices to be provided with every application for a motor vehicle driver's license, an examination permit, a probationary driver's license, or a non-driver identification card and every related update, renewal, or change of address as designated pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection:

†††† [1] (a) a notice that the applicant will be registered to vote, if eligible, unless the applicant specifically declines the automatic voter registration;

†††† [2] (b) a notice of the voter eligibility requirements under R.S.19:4-1 and the penalties for false registration and illegal voting under Title 19 of the Revised Statutes, which notice shall contain an affirmation that the applicant meets each such requirement and shall require the signature of the applicant, under penalty of law; and

†††† [3] (c) a notice that an applicant who is a victim of domestic violence or stalking may decline the automatic voter registration and register to vote without disclosing the applicant's street address pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1994, c.148 (C.19:31-3.2).

†††† d.††† [For each applicant already registered to vote, any change of address notification submitted to the Chief Administrator for the purpose of maintaining current information on an applicant shall be promptly reported to the Secretary of State.† A] (1) For every application for a motor vehicle driverís license, an examination permit, a probationary driverís license, or a non-driver identification card, and each related update, renewal, or change of address, by an applicant who is already registered to vote in the State of New Jersey, the Chief Administrator shall promptly transmit electronically to the Secretary of State information regarding the applicantís name and address for the purpose of maintaining current information on the applicant.

†††† (2) Any change of address notification received by the Chief Administrator in paper format shall be reported to the Secretary of State no later than the 10th day following its receipt by the Chief Administrator.

†††† (3)†† For any information received from the Chief Administrator pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection d. of this section for an applicant who is already registered to vote in the State of New Jersey, the Secretary of State shall determine if the information provided to the Chief Administrator indicates a different name or address from that on the personís registration record.† If the information provided to the Chief Administrator indicates a different name or address from that on the personís registration record, the Secretary of State shall transmit change of address and change of name information for the person to the appropriate commissioner of registration.† If the applicant has changed residence from one county to another, the Secretary of State shall submit the information to both the commissioner of the previous county of residence and the new county of residence.The Commissioner of Registration in the applicantís county of residence shall use the change of address or change of name notification to update an existing voter registration [unless the applicant declines the automatic voter registration pursuant to this section and indicates that the change of address is not for voter registration purposes], transfer the personís registration file if inactive to the active file, and send to the personís address of record, by forwardable mail, notice of the change and a postage paid preaddressed return form by which the person may verify or correct the information.† If the person returns the notice and indicates that the change to the personís registration record was an error, the appropriate county commissioners of registration, including the commissioner of the previous county of residence, shall immediately correct the personís previously updated information in the Statewide Voter Registration System.† A change of address notification submitted to the commission, which is used for voter registration purposes, shall be subject to the provisions of section 1 of P.L.1994, c.148 (C.19:31-3.2) if the person submitting the change of address notification previously registered to vote in accordance with that section.

†††† e.† (1)† If a person who is not entitled to vote becomes registered to vote pursuant to this section, that person's registration shall be presumed to have been effected with official authorization, and the person shall not be deemed to have committed a crime under R.S.19:34-1.† This subsection shall not apply to a person who knowingly and willfully makes a false statement to effectuate voter registration.

†††† (2)† If a person who is not entitled to vote becomes registered to vote pursuant to this section and †votes or attempts to vote in an election held after the effective date of the personís registration, that person shall be presumed to have an affirmative defense to prosecution under R.S. 19:34-11 and R.S. 19:34-23.† This subsection shall not apply to a person who knowingly and willfully makes a false statement to effectuate voter registration or who intentionally takes voluntary action to register to vote or vote knowing that he or she is not entitled to vote.

†††† f.†††† The Secretary of State, with the assistance of the Chief Administrator, shall take appropriate measures to educate the public about voter registration under this section.

†††† g.††† The Secretary of State and the Chief Administrator shall jointly develop a process by which the Motor Vehicle Commission, upon obtaining a personís full name, date of birth, driverís license or state identification number, residence address, and mailing address if different from residence address, may use information from the statewide voter registration system to determine whether the person is already registered to vote in the state.

†††† For the purposes of this section, "eligible applicant" means a person submitting to the commission an application for a motor vehicle driver's license, an examination permit, a probationary driver's license, or a non-driver identification card who meets all requirements for eligibility to vote under R.S.19:4-1.

(cf: P.L.2022, c.70, s.6)

 

†††† 7.††† Section 23 of P.L.1994, s.182 (C.39:3-10m) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 23.† Notwithstanding any law, rule or regulation to the contrary, each applicant, who meets all requirements for eligibility to vote, for a State motor vehicle driver's license, an examination permit, a probationary driver's license, or a non-driver identification card application, including any application for a renewal or update thereof, except as provided in [paragraphs] paragraph (2) [and (3)] of subsection [b] c. of section 24 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.39:2-3.2), submitted to an agent of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission shall be offered an opportunity to decline the automatic voter registration as provided pursuant to section 24 of P.L.1994, c.182 (C.39:2-3.2).

(cf: P.L.2018, c.6, s.2)

 

†††† 8.††† The Secretary of State may promulgate any guidelines or regulations necessary to effectuate the purposes of P.L. ††††   , c. †  (C. ††††  )(pending before the Legislature as this bill), which regulations shall be effective immediately upon filing with the Office of Administrative Law for a period not to exceed 18 months, and shall, thereafter, be amended, adopted or readopted in accordance with the provisions of the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.).

 

†††† 9. This act shall take effect on January 1, 2025, except that the Secretary of State may take any anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill revises the Motor Vehicle Commission voter registration procedures.

†††† Section 1 of the bill changes eligibility to be able to vote in an election to when the voter has registered to vote with the MVC, not when they have simply completed the form.

†††† Section 2 of the bill allows transfer of information on a newly registered voter received electronically by the MVC into the Statewide voter registration system.

†††† Section 3 of the bill directs the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services and the Department of Corrections to automatically transmit voter registration information to the Secretary of State for each person who applies to the New Jersey Medical Assistance and Health Services Program who is eligible to vote.† The information received by the Secretary of State from the division and department does not require a digitized image of the applicantís signature.

†††† Section 4 of the bill changes to residence information are permitted to be received, processed, and updated by the MVC in addition to the commissioner, municipal clerk, or the Secretary of State for voter registration purposes.

†††† Section 5 of the bill changes to name information are permitted to be received and processed by the MVC for voter registration purposes.

†††† Section 6 of the bill directs the MVC to automatically transfer information to the Secretary of State about each person, except those in the Address Confidentiality Program, who approaches the MVC for a motor vehicle driverís license or similar license who is not registered to vote, is of age, and is a citizen.† If the person is determined to be eligible to vote by the Secretary of State, the secretary will transmit the information to the appropriate county commissioner of registration who will register the person to vote and send a notice to the person by mail confirming the registration.† The notice will include a form with prepaid postage by which the person may declare a political party affiliation, request mail-in ballots until indicated otherwise, or decline to be registered to vote.

†††† Section 6 also requires that the notice will include the required information in English and Spanish, as well any additional language which is the primary language of five percent or more of the registered voters in the county where the notice is mailed.

†††† Section 6 also removes the requirement that voter registration information from an application received online for the renewal of a motor vehicle driver's license or non-driver identification card will be collected and transmitted electronically to the Secretary of State upon the implementation by the Secretary of State of online voter registration.

†††† Section 6 also directs the MVC to transmit to the Secretary of State the applicantís name and address for every application for a motor vehicle driverís license, or similar license, and each related update, renewal, or change of address, by an applicant who is already registered to vote in the State of New Jersey for the purpose of maintaining current information on the applicant.† If the Secretary of State finds that the name or address provided by the MVC is different than the name or address on the voterís registration record, the secretary will transmit the updated name or address to the appropriate county commissioner of registration.† A notice of the change and a postage paid preaddressed return form by which the person may verify or correct the information will be sent to the person.† If the person returns the notice and indicates that the change to the personís registration record was an error, the appropriate county commissioner of registration will immediately correct the personís previously updated information in the statewide voter registration system.