(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Speaker Craig Coughlin, Gary Schaer, Tim Eustace, Joann Downey, Daniel Benson, Benjie Wimberly, John McKeon, Mila Jasey and Nicholas Chiaravalloti to automatically register and update voter registration for those applying for a driver’s license, examination permit, probationary driver’s license or non-driver identification card was approved 50-23 Thursday by the Assembly.
“This bill is designed to encourage participation in the democratic process by integrating voter registration with the process of driver registration,” said Coughlin (D-Middlesex). “This simple move will hopefully encourage more young people to register to vote and make it easier for residents to fulfill their civic duty.”
The bill (A-2014) automatically registers and updates voter registration for those applying for a driver’s license, examination permit, probationary driver’s license or non-driver identification card.
“Sometimes voter turnout can be stymied simply by the fact that would-be voters have forgotten to update their registration because they moved,” said Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Hopefully this will encourage first time drivers to engage in the voting process and also make it easier for others to ensure that their voter registration stays current.”
“Given the increasingly low voter turnouts we see regularly nowadays, this bill will hopefully help boost voter registration and encourage participation in the democratic process by making it easier for folks to register,” said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic).
“Youth turnout in elections has been at an historic low in recent years,” said Downey (D-Monmouth). “By making it easier for them to register, hopefully we can create a more conscientious mindset towards voting amongst our youngest generation.”
“This is a simple and common sense step,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Anything we can do to make it easier to register to vote is a good thing.”
“We should be doing this already,” said Wimberly (D-Passaic/Bergen). “Increasing voter registration is something we can all agree upon.”
“This is a great step forward,” said McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). “Automatic voter registration makes so much sense.”
“Encouraging voter participation is something we should always be doing,” said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris). “This is a positive step toward higher voter turn-out.”
“We should use all the tools available to boost voter registration,” said Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson). “This is an easy and simple way to accomplish that worthy goal.”
The bill also permits any state agency that the Secretary of State verifies already collects documents that would provide proof of eligibility, upon approval of the Secretary of State, to establish and implement a procedure to automatically and electronically transmit voter registration information to the Secretary of State for the purpose of registering such persons to vote or update their voter registration.