Schepisi: “This is no longer about health and safety”

By Holly Schepisi
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It is so incredibly important for the people of the State of New Jersey to educate themselves regarding what has happened in the past several months. My office gets daily calls and emails regarding the abysmal conditions at NJ’s Motor Vehicle Commission. 8-10 hour waits are the norm with people lining up at 4 am in order to secure an appointment.

Almost 2 weeks ago the NJ Legislature met and voted on a series of bills, some good and some incredibly bad. The good bills included several that were unanimously passed to lessen the lines at the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission. These bills authorized the agency to use stored driver’s license or ID card photos for longer the 8 years, they extended expiring driver’s licenses through the end of the year and they permitted those who passed their road test to use their permit as their license for a 60 day period during COVID. The bills also gave certain preferential appointments in person to our seniors, those with disabilities and other vulnerable populations.

The entire purpose of these bills was to alleviate the extremely long wait times at this agency. Because, if we are truly concerned about health & safety in NJ, one thing you would think would be smart to do is reduce lines at the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission, correct? One would think? Maybe? Guess which bills the Governor still hasn’t signed two weeks later? ANY OF THESE that provide relief from these horrific lines.

This is where being educated about what really goes on in this State comes into play. The very same day we unanimously passed the motor vehicle bills, the Democratic controlled legislature passed a series of bad bills which codify the Governor’s Executive Order stripping our citizens of the right to vote in person in a voting booth under the auspices of health & safety. To no one’s surprise, the Governor signed these controversial package of bills the very same day that we voted on them.

Waiting on line for 8-10 hours at the State Motor Vehicle Agency = NO PROBLEM.

Casting a vote in person at a polling station = Such a big problem that it must be banned.

For those who aren’t aware, there were a host of other voting changes slipped in two weeks ago under the guise of health and safety measures.

1. You may now register to vote on an on-line voter registration site courtesy of the State of New Jersey. There is NO CITIZENSHIP CHECK or REQUIREMENT on this site!

2. Everyone who is registered to vote in NJ will be mailed a Vote By Mail Ballot. YOU CANNOT OPT OUT.

3. There will be no resolution of close elections in NJ potentially until January of 2021 as you now have the ability in NJ to “correct” a deficient mail in ballot until the 2nd week of December.

4. Election officials in NJ are now allowed to count Mail-In Ballots 10 days BEFORE THE ELECTION. In what universe are we to believe that in a State such as NJ that political parties will not leak information about the ballots that have been counted. That the 6 county political chairs who sit on election boards, including the Democratic State Chairman, will not use the information regarding number of ballots cast for their favored candidates days prior to an election to assist these candidates and help change their strategies in the final days of a race? The opportunity for fraud is overwhelming.

This is no longer about health and safety. The people of the State of NJ are being played.

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HOLLY SCHEPISI is an attorney and businesswoman who has served New Jersey’s 39th legislative district in the New Jersey General Assembly since January 2012.