Progressive Democrat Lisa McCormick is calling out 25 New Jersey Republicans who are part of the insidious plot to make voting more difficult by targeting Black, brown, young and other Americans by threatening their ability to participate in our democracy.
“These efforts undermine our democracy,” said McCormick, who said 25 New Jersey Republicans are among the GOP lawmakers in 43 states who have introduced 253 bills with provisions that restrict or hinder voting.
“Assemblywoman Aura Dunn’s bill permits county clerks to remove citizens from vote-by-mail lists rather than causing election officials to update records for someone whose address has changed,” said McCormick.
McCormick pointed out a little bit of irony in that Dunn was never elected.
“When State Senator Anthony R. Bucco died, his son Assemblyman Tony Bucco was appointed to the Senate seat. Dunn lost the 2019 Republican primary for Assembly to Tony Bucco and Brian Bergen,” said McCormick
“Bucco’s name was still on the ballot so Dunn was appointed to his Assembly seat, after a special convention, then she was selected in another special convention to fill the seat again once the new term began,” said McCormick.
“Instead of removing a citizen from the list of qualified voters, New Jersey should work to expand voting rights but since Dunn was never elected, and lost the one time she ran, she does not have much respect for voters,” said McCormick.
“Assemblyman John Catalano has another Republican piece of legislation that could be called the ‘shoot-first-ask-questions-later voter elimination’ act,” said McCormick.
Catalano’s bill actually requires a commissioner of registration to move voters with undeliverable mail-in ballots to inactive file, then eliminates such citizens from the state voter registration system entirely if they fail to cast a ballot in two consecutive federal general elections.
“Now Tony, or Senator Anthony M. Bucco, wants to suspend automatic voter registration for citizens who followed procedures established by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission,” said McCormick.
A law enacted only in 2018 directs the Secretary of State and chief administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to empower eligible applicants to register to vote at the same time they apply for a driver’s license or other MVC document.
“Taking away automatic voter registration seems downright evil, given the importance of being able to vote,” said McCormick.
Kean’s constitutional amendment is supported by Assemblymen Edward H. Thomson, Ronald S. Dancer, and Christopher P. DePhillips as well as McGuckin, Catalano, Space and Wirths.
Senators Steven V. Oroho, Joseph Pennacchio, Chris A. Brown, Samuel D. Thompson, and Robert W. Singer, along with Bucco, Corrado and Testa want to require voters who want to vote by mail to complete an application every year.
Now, there’s just no reason why people should have to complete a new request every time they want to vote by mail but This gang of Republicans are looking to steal elections and denying you the right to vote is how they plan to get that done.
These same thugs—Oroho, Pennacchio, Brown, Thompson, Singer, Bucco, Corrado, and Testa—want to require everyone to show a photo ID before being allowed to vote, and they would let a candidate’s representative challenge the right to vote of any person who shows up, right down to being able to insist that the voter show photo ID a second time.
Obviously, Republicans feel they can benefit by shaking down citizens who attempt to exercise their franchise or hinder long lines at busy voting precincts.
Putting the Judiciary’s Administrative Office of the Courts to work flagging names of voters could cause problems similar to those reported in Florida and other states, where citizens are removed from the voter rolls as a result of mistaken identity.
“Real Americans want to provide all registered voters with a right to cast their ballot in person at a polling place on election day or by other means, such as voting by mail,” said McCormick. “Republican politicians are searching for any reason to deny a mail-in ballot to voters, like forcing each citizen to make a specific request rather than allowing government officials to provide alternative methods if a health crisis or other emergency makes in-person voting dangerous.”
“None of these proposals are rooted in a legitimate concern about ballot integrity,” said McCormick.
McCormick said instead of barring people from casting their ballot, finding ways to purge citizens from registration lists or refusing to count legitimate votes, New Jersey ought to have a policy that does five things:
- Make voter registration easy and convenient through expanded online registration, automatic voter registration, and same-day voter registration
- Require convenience, stability, and fair allocation of polling places or alternative methods of balloting
- Ensure every vote counts through secure ballots and replacement of outdated voting machines
- Stand up for democracy by prohibiting gerrymandered districts and protecting early voting
- Promote ethical and transparent government by publishing a daily schedule, holding town halls, and stopping the revolving door between government and special interests
“Democracy works best when we put in place the guardrails that ensure every American has an equal opportunity to make their voice heard and to be fairly represented,” said McCormick.
McCormick applauded President Joe Biden for signing, on the anniversary of the infamous March to Selma, an executive order expanding voting access.
Sunday, March 6, was the 56th anniversary of the day in 1965 when voting rights marchers led by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee leader John Lewis and Southern Christian Leadership Conference activist Hosea Williams were beaten by white lawmen wielding clubs and tear gas on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, as they attempted to march to the state capitol in Montgomery.
“In virtual remarks on the anniversary of the ‘Bloody Sunday’ march in Selma, Alabama, where John Lewis, Hosea Williams and other activists were violently beaten by police while pursuing their right to vote, President Joe Biden announced an executive order protecting the right to vote,” said McCormick.
McCormick also endorsed two federal election access bills supported by Democrats but facing an uncertain future in the U.S. Senate, where Republicans can use the filibuster to block action.
The U.S. House approved one measure — a sweeping election, campaign finance and redistricting bill ― last week. The second proposal, the Voting Rights Advancement Act to reinstate judicial reviews of new election laws in states with a history of voter suppression, has not yet come up for a vote during the current congressional session but is expected to be named after U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who died last year.
“The For the People Act aims to fix an election system that pushes people of color to the margins,” said McCormick. “The John Lewis Voting Rights Act will reform an election system scarred by renewed efforts to suppress the vote.”
“It’s been nearly eight years since the U.S. Supreme Court gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and opened the floodgates to a tide of new state laws that can only be called an assault on democracy,” said McCormick. “We need the American spirit now, as much as we have since March 7, 1965, when those heroes put their lives on the line and marched toward a phalanx of hostile state troopers and sheriff’s deputies on the Selma bridge.”