Christie vetoes Democrats’ half baked MVC, 17-year-old voter registration bills

Joella BedrosianBy The Staff | The Save Jersey Blog

Governor Chris Christie turned back two separate measures with his veto pen on Thursday afternoon, Save Jerseyans, preventing Democrats from transforming voting in the Garden State.

The first was A-3591/S-2116, the “New Voter Empowerment Act” which would’ve permitted 17 year olds to vote in primary elections if they turned 18 before the next succeeding general election.

“The right to vote is an essential component of a democratic society and I fully encourage the participation of all eligible individuals in our election process. I am, however, unwilling to sanction the expansion of that participation to include voting by individuals less than 18 years of age, and am concerned that this bill sets the State on a slippery path toward further erosion of critical and constitutional requirements for voter eligibility,” Christie explained in his accompanying absolute veto message.

The Governor conditionally vetoed A-1944/S-1228, legislation which would’ve automatically registered or updated voter registration during the driver’s license application/renewal process.

chris christie green tie serious“This is the second time within the last year that the Legislature has passed a bill that would fundamentally alter MVC’s voter registration process at a significant cost and without providing appropriate safeguards. I rejected that flawed approach when it was part of the so-called “Democracy Act” last session. Nothing has changed since that time that would cause me to revisit that position,” Christie explained. “If anything, the fact that approximately 92% of eligible residents are now registered to vote following MVC’s implementation of its automated electronic signature pad system supports the conclusion that this bill is unnecessary and fiscally irresponsible.”

Christie’s proposed changes to A-1944/S-1228 are designed to afford “greater protection for victims of domestic violence and stalking by notifying them that they may register to vote or update their voter registration information without disclosing their street address, and directs them to the appropriate agency to do so.”