Take notice that, on April 2, 2021, in compliance with P.L. 2021, c. 40, effective on March 30, 2021, the Department of State (Department) specially repealed N.J.A.C. 15:10-7, as adopted on July 31, 2019, and promulgated new rules to implement P.L. 2021, c. 40. The rules implement the use of electronic poll books by county commissioners of registration and county boards of elections to enable early voting. Pursuant to P.L. 2021, c. 40, the rules are effective upon filing by the Department with the Office of Administrative Law for a period of 18 months, or until the Department proposes to make them permanent through the formal rulemaking process pursuant to the New Jersey Administrative Procedures Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-1 et seq.
P.L. 2021, c. 40 (Early Voting Law), signed by Governor Murphy on March 30, 2021, and effective immediately, added early voting in certain primary and general elections in this State to the existing voting statutes. Early voting is to be conducted using electronic poll books and optical-scan voting machines that read hand-marked paper ballots or other voting machines that produce a voter-verifiable paper ballot.
P.L. 2019, c. 80 (2019 Act), signed and effective on May 2, 2019, permitted the use of electronic poll book systems in New Jersey. The 2019 Act allowed county commissioners of registration and county boards of elections to decide to use electronic poll book systems for an election, so long as the system has been certified by the Secretary of State (Secretary). The 2021 Early Voting Law sets the number of early voting sites per county at a minimum of between three and seven, and a maximum of between five and 10, depending on the number of registered voters within the county. The 2021 Early Voting Law allows counties to designate additional sites subject to county funding. At a minimum, the electronic book system must be able to perform all the functions performed using a paper polling record or signature copy register and be compatible with the Statewide Voter Registration System. The electronic poll book system also must meet security and audit standards delineated by the Secretary.
For the purpose of building experience with electronic poll book systems, the specially adopted new rules include creation of a pilot program allowing use of electronic poll book systems that are on the certification list in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, or Virginia. Where the Secretary has approved a commissioner of registration or board of election’s request to pilot electronic poll book systems and the specific type of electronic poll book the county plans to utilize, the commissioner of registration or board of elections must provide at least two electronic poll books per polling place, along with a backup paper polling register or signature copy register on the day of the election when required, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:31-37. Electronic poll book records must be retained for at least six years after the election.
Page Last Updated: 04/21/21 11:50 a.m.
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