GOP senators introduce legislation that would suspend automatic voter registration at N.J. agencies

Bucco, Corrado express concern that those who recently visited MVC are now receiving multiple ballots

State Sens. Anthony Bucco and Kristin Corrado have introduced legislation that would suspend automatic voter registration at state government agencies in response to evidence that some voters are receiving multiple ballots after visits to Motor Vehicle Commission facilities.

Sen. Anthony Bucco. (File photo)

“When automatic voter registration was enacted, we raised red flags that New Jersey’s creaky voter database wasn’t designed to filter duplicate registrations submitted by a slew of government agencies,” Bucco (R-Denville) said in a release late Friday.

“We now have confirmation from election officials that many of the duplicate ballots that voters have reported receiving can be traced directly to automatic voter registration at the MVC. After our warnings, this shouldn’t be a shock to anyone.”

According to Bucco and Corrado (R-Totowa), the MVC and other state agencies are required to automatically register to vote any eligible person who applies for a permit, license or ID card unless the applicant declines the automatic voter registration — because of a 2018 law.

Sen. Kristin Corrado. (N.J. Legislature)

Bucco and Corrado refer to an article by New Jersey Advance Media that suggests already-registered voters may now be getting a duplicate ballot.

It’s unclear if any people are attempting to vote twice, which obviously would be illegal — nor is it clear how many people who were not registered are now getting a ballot, enabling them to vote.

“We simply don’t know how many people will end up with extra ballots for the upcoming general election, but it could be a lot, especially since the governor has ordered everyone to vote by mail,” Corrado said in a statement.

“We trust that most people will do the right thing and destroy or return any extra ballots they receive. Still, if we want to be diligent about maintaining the integrity of our elections, we need to pause automatic voter registration until this problem is fixed.”

Bucco and Corrado said their legislation would suspend automatic voter registration at the MVC, and at other government agencies that may have established automatic voter registration, until the implementation of standards and procedures to maintain the accuracy of the voter rolls in the statewide voter registration system.