A diverse coalition of 35 statewide, local, and national organizations sent recommendations to Governor Murphy, Secretary of State Way, and legislative leadership laying out steps that must be taken to ensure that New Jersey’s upcoming elections are successful and robust. The groups stressed the need to protect health and voting rights by expanding, not restricting, access to the ballot.
Governor Murphy issued an Executive Order earlier this month postponing the primary election until July 7, 2020 but has yet to announce any logistical decisions regarding the election.
“It is paramount to prioritize health and safety, while also ensuring a thriving participatory democracy.Voting must be categorized as an ‘essential service’ and voters must have multiple options for accessing the ballot during this crisis. We are most concerned with communities, such as communities of color and the disability community, that historically face obstacles to the ballot,” said the groups in the letter.
The letter laid out specific recommendations to address voter registration, vote-by-mail, polling place protections, voter education, and voter protection. The groups’ recommendation stake a 360 degree approach to ensuring every eligible voter has multiple options to participate in New Jersey’s elections.
The groups added, “We understand that there are no easy decisions. Every decision made during these trying times comes with repercussions … But it is precisely during times of crisis that we most need to lean on our collective resolve to ensure a healthy and reliable democracy … Our citizens need to have faith that their voices are heard, now more than ever, and we must do everything in our power to protect the sacred institution of voting.” Excerpted recommendations are below. Read the full letter here.