My New Jersey Voter ID Law Proposal

Thirty U.S. states (and counting) have enacted some species of voter ID law, Save Jerseyans.

New Jersey is officially behind the eight ball on this one with inarguably the most important federal cycle in many moons bearing down upon us. We here at Save Jersey are always ahead of the curve and have made it a point to debunk every silly anti-voter ID law myth out there. It just makes far too much sense to require basic, cheap and easily-obtainable personal identification on Election Day to protect the legitimacy of our electoral process.

And your Blogger-in-Chief has yet to hear or read a single suspiciously virulent argument against voter ID laws that contains more substance than emotion. Break it down… New Jersey citizens already need an ID to buy booze, obtain public assistance, enter certain government buildings, borrow library books, board overseas flights and, interestingly enough, register to vote in New Jersey. What possible, logical reason is there to stop short of the ballot box?

Unless you’re TRYING to facilitate fraud?

That’s why I’m proposing a law similar to our neighbor Pennsylvania’s own recently-enacted bill. Here’s a few basic, overarching principles to get the discussion going…

  • General Rule: All Garden State voters must show a valid, unexpired, government-issued photo ID to poll workers in order to cast a regular machine ballot on Election Day.
  • Acceptable IDs: Any photo ID issued by the federal or state governments that is both (1) valid and (2) unexpired. Possible examples include a state-issued driver’s license (commercial or regular), a military personnel photo ID, a valid U.S. passport, student or faculty ID cards issued by accredited public or private New Jersey institutions of higher learning, and photo ID cards issued by a properly-credentialed assisted living facility.
  • Means-Tested: Voters who cannot afford a valid photo ID (defined as earning below a TBD poverty threshold) need not worry about being disenfranchised; they can obtain a FREE ID card up to thirty (30) days before Election Day from their local Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). All that would be required is a Social Security card along with either (1) a birth certificate with raised seal or (2) a certificate of U.S. citizenship/naturalization in conjunction with three proofs of residency (e.g. a utility bill, a cable bill and an apartment lease agreement).
  • Absentee Ballots: Applicants must supply either (1) their driver’s license number, (2) the last four digits of their Social Security number or (3) a photocopy of a valid, unexpired government-issued photo ID.
  • Forget Your ID? Sorry; voters without valid photo ID will not be allowed to cast a regular machine ballot. They may, however, fill out a provisional ballot which will be counted if, and only if, (1) the amount of provisional ballots exceeds the margin of victory between the top and secondary vote getter, and (2) the provisional voter subsequently provides valid, unexpired voter ID to their county board of elections within seven (7) days after Election Day.

I absolutely welcome suggestions/amendments to this mini-outline, Save Jerseyans, but I challenge any anti-voter ID law reader in our audience to identify anything discriminatory, unconstitutional, racist, insensitive, homophobic, etc. and so on in my proposal. Go for it… make my day! You’ll come up empty.

Now to be fair, some New Jersey legislators have already tried (and failed) to win passage for voter ID laws. One legislative proposal was stillborn in 2011. Currently, Assemblymen Rumpf and Gove’s A674 (pdf) and its companion bill, Senator Connor’s S200 (pdf), are waiting for committee approval.

Unfortunately there’s no time to waste. Sure, the odds of ultimate passage are daunting since both legislative chambers are controlled by hack Machine Democrats. But when have the odds ever stopped us before? Every Save Jerseyan should contact their legislators at lunch today (click here) and DEMAND (nicely, but firmly) that they support floor debate on A674 and S200 respectively.

No less than the fundamental democratic principle of “one person, one vote” is on the line!

 

Matt Rooney

Matt Rooney

Save Jersey’s Founder and Blogger-in-Chief, Matt Rooney is a widely-respected New Jersey political commentator, practicing attorney at the law firm of DeMichele & DeMichele in Haddon Heights, and a graduate of the Rutgers Camden School of Law.

51 Comments

  1. The points sound reasonable to me. Honestly I think this is a winning issue for the GOP this year. Who the hell could disagree with having to identify yourself before doing something so important as voting?

  2. Means tested Matt? Are you serious? To suggest that a citizen must pay for an ID or prove that he can't afford to pay before excercising his rights os a citizen sounds rather Democrat-Socialist to me.

    I would suggest that the board of elections provide a voter registration card, free of charge, to everyone at the time of registration.

    • Most people register by mail. A voter registration card would inconvenience tha majority of Americans that already have a suitable photo ID (drivers licence, passport, etc.)

  3. Ihave no problem voting for a voter ID requirement, however getting that unexpired id has been a bitch for me since the State of NJ made my orogonal birth certificate which I still have invalid, void, I no longer was born, so now when I try to get the new State Certified Birth Certificate, I am asked for a valid goverment Id which I cannot get without my birth certificate, I have had my non driver's Stateid since 1976 and even though I am still the same in the most recent expiered one I cannot get a new one without my new Birth Certificate, this ia a downright disgrace especially for a person who was born here 53 years ago. Work on that issue first than we can all address the other.

  4. Bull.. First the issue of fake voters in NJ and around the country is minimal, (less than .01%). Second, voting is a RIGHT not a privilege. That right shall not be abridged in any way. These voter ID laws abridge that right for many citizens who cannot obtain, for one reason or another, the voter ID that many states are now requiring. This is nothing more than a conservative scam to restrict voting of the elder population and minorities. Why? Because those two groups tend to vote democrat. Here's a better proposal.. If you're going to restrict citizens from voting with these new ID laws, then SEND a proper ID to those already registered and have been voting. Any NEW voters would then need to have these "proper" ID's AT ABSOLUTELY NO CHARGE TO THEM. If they need transportation to their municipal building or wherever to get it, the STATE pays for their transportation. VOTING IS A RIGHT – NOT A PRIVILEGE.

  5. First: Where is the social and fiscal justification supported by overwhelming evidence that we have a voting fraud crisis worthy of all the buzz about voter-I.D. laws?

    Second: Why must it be government issued? If an employee has a photo I.D., why not use that? Or if a citizen is also a student and has a Student I.D. card, why not accept that?

    Third: Why must the I.D. be unexpired? Are the underlying documents used to orignally support that expired I.D. somehow no longer valid when the I.D. expires?

    Fourth and last: The imposition of any requirement to pay/purchase something in order to exercise the RIGHT to vote is, from my perespective, nothing more than a more covert effort at imposing a Poll Tax. (Which, of course, was officially abolished at the Federal level with the 24th Amendment in 1964, and the Supreme Court imposed upon the States in 1966)

  6. Many States that have enacted theses laws have left many college students, minorities and the elderly out in the cold and unable to vote, because of a nonexistent voter "fraud problem" Many college student who think they are voting with their college ID'd at the polls WILL be turned away in many states. Read the fine print… these bills are designed to keep blocks of people away from the polls and pervert our democracy!!

  7. Voter fraud is a myth being used to suppress Democratic voters. It's just another tool in the Republicans pocket they are using to commit their own fraud against our democratic system to steal control.

  8. Yes, because there's no chncae at all that two people of likely Hispanic descent could possibly have the same name in New Mexico.Does anyone remember a few years ago when the state GOP held a nice big news conference to prove that they had 28 names of people who had voted illegally in the preceding election every single one of whom turned out to be a legitimate voter when contacted by the media that same afternoon? I like Secretary Duran, but she should probably stop wasting her time with the NMGOP's favorite debunked conspiracy theory.

  9. Bull.. First the issue of fake voters in NJ and arnoud the country is minimal, (less than .01%). Second, voting is a RIGHT not a privilege. That right shall not be abridged in any way. These voter ID laws abridge that right for many citizens who cannot obtain, for one reason or another, the voter ID that many states are now requiring. This is nothing more than a conservative scam to restrict voting of the elder population and minorities. Why? Because those two groups tend to vote democrat. Here's a better proposal.. If you're going to restrict citizens from voting with these new ID laws, then SEND a proper ID to those already registered and have been voting. Any NEW voters would then need to have these proper ID's AT ABSOLUTELY NO CHARGE TO THEM. If they need transportation to their municipal building or wherever to get it, the STATE pays for their transportation. VOTING IS A RIGHT NOT A PRIVILEGE.

  10. Our dear friend Anonymous at 3:01 is sipmly trolling. The Eeeeevil Republican Party has supposedly been messing with voting results. Yet no one has been able to prove it, other than accusations.However, our friend is ignoring people being charged in court and in several cases going to jail for voter fraud in several states. Things such as slashing the tires of two dozen buses that were to take Republican voters to the polls. Guess which party?For me, the solution is obvious: making it LESS easy to commit voter fraud. Everyone is in favor of that. But I notice that the things that make it easy—confirmation of voter registrations via ID, etc—seem to bring the greatest level of distress from the Democrats.Let's all agree to reduce voter fraud across the board. But let's not give any fraud or irregularity a "pass" when it comes from a political party we like.

  11. If a person supplies when they to register to vote, why must they present it again when they vote?

    Buying booze, borrowing library books and boarding overseas flights are privileges. Voting is a right. There is a difference. It violates everything you pretend to believe in when you deprive a person of a right.

    If there were a problem with voter fraud in this state, your article would have detailed that problem. But not a single instance of voter fraud was mentioned. Not one.

    The reason right wingers like yourself want to suppress the vote is because it's the only way you can win. By cheating.

    It IS racist. It IS homophobic. It IS all those things you mentioned. If it weren't you would have come up with this ridiculous idea when George Bush was president. But no. Now that there's a black man who supports gay marriage in the White House, suddenly, all you right wing nut jobs are all worried about voter fraud.

    You aren't fooling anyone with the possible exception of yourself. And I get the distinct impression you're not all that hard to fool.

  12. Your proposal allows an absentee voter to vote using the last 4 digits of the social security number. Why is that then not good enough for an in-person voter? Perhaps we should be using purple dye….

  13. Since the state DMV will not issue me an id in my legal name I have to object to this proposal unless and until a state government agency is set up that will

  14. And since you mention unconstitutional, I think them refusing this is unconstitutional, as they are failing to follow the full faith and credit clause of the constitutions.

  15. I agree. I get ballots in the mail consistently…FOR DECADES…and I vote consistently. Send me a voter ID in the mail that I can use and just require the first-borns of anyone who has never voted before and wants to!

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