NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey will now allow early, in-person voting.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed the legislation alongside Georgia’s Stacey Abrams.READ MORE: Road To Reopening: New York Sports And Entertainment Venues Welcome Back Fans At Full Capacity
But some county clerks question if it’s possible by November.
“Our democracy is made stronger when we make it easier for the people’s voices to be heard,” Murphy said.
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, voters will be able to vote in person 10 days before a general election, and six days before primaries.
Voting would end two days before election day under the new law.
Abrams, a voting rights activist who is credited with helping break the GOP’s hold on her state, joined the governor. Bills restricting ballot access are moving quickly in Republican-led states.
“We deserve to have a say in the direction of our nation, and when democracy is undermined by laws that we have seen pass, not only in Georgia,” Abrams said. “We are seeing an onslaught and attack on democracy.”
Monmouth County Clerk Christine Hanlon said it will be a very difficult transition to coordinate early voting by November. Counties lack the poll workers and infrastructure.READ MORE: NYPD Searching For Suspects After Eric Adams Campaign Volunteer Stabbed In The Bronx
“Our current equipment in Monmouth County is not set up at all for the ability to have multiple ballots on a particular device,” Hanlon said.
Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin said it may be more work for his office, but it’s the right thing to do.
“It’s a lot more paperwork, but in a good way. When you have more voices heard, democracy is stronger,” Durkin said.
Republican Sen. Declan O’Scanlon supports early voting, but said the state needs to help counties.
“It’s another massive undertaking that we’re dumping in their laps, without their input, without resources and snapping our fingers and say ‘Get it done,'” O’Scanlon said.
He says estimates show the purchase of new voting machines and electronic poll books could cost more than $50 million.
Separate legislation calls for drop boxes for paper vote by mail ballots to be spaced out throughout counties for better access points in residential neighborhoods.MORE NEWS: Amazon's 'Prime Day' Underway; Competitors Looking To Match Deals
CBS2’s Meg Baker contributed to this report.