Mail in Ballot Reform Signed into Law

HANLON ANNOUNCES REFORMS TO VOTE BY MAIL PROCEDURES

Freehold, August 11, 2015– Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon announced important reforms in how Vote By Mail ballots can be applied for with the County Clerk and received by the County Board of Elections under a new law signed by Governor Chris Christie on August 10, 2015. The new Vote By Mail law, bi-partisan legislation that was unanimously passed by the State Legislature, was sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon of Monmouth County’s 13 legislative district.

This new law reduces number of voters for whom person can serve as “messenger” from 10 to 3. It also limits the number of voted mail-in ballots transmittable by a bearer to the County Board of Elections to 3 ballots. The amendment provides specifically that “no person shall serve as an authorized messenger or as a bearer for more than three qualified voters in an election.” The prior law permitted a person to serve as an authorized “messenger” for up to 10 qualified voters in an election, and set no limit on the number of voted ballots a “bearer” may collect. The bill also now requires a person serving as a “bearer” delivering a voted mail-in ballot to the county board of elections, to provide proof of his or her identity in the form of a New Jersey driver’s license, or another form of identification issued or recognized as official by the federal government, the State, or any of its subdivisions, providing the identification carries the full address and signature of the person.

“This new law is critical to preventing manipulation of the voting process,” said Hanlon, “and will reduce the opportunity for fraud and abuse of the system. I congratulate the legislature and the Governor for acknowledging the need to protect the integrity of the process.” “We typically have a significant number of messengers and bearers in our elections in Monmouth County and it is important for our voters to be aware of these new laws.” Hanlon continued, “The statute provides that the change will take effect immediately, meaning that this change will impact the 2015 September school and the November general elections.”