The impact of New Jersey’s law that denies voting rights based on a criminal conviction is felt most directly by the very communities of color in New Jersey that need greater—not less—access to the ballot box.
Essex and Camden Counties bear a disproportionate and substantial share of lost votes,[xxxii] together accounting for almost a quarter of those removed from the rolls because of a criminal conviction despite being home to less than 15 percent of the state’s total population.[xxxiii]
In fact, just five counties—Essex, Camden, Hudson, Monmouth, and Ocean—are home to almost half of those removed from the rolls.[xxxiv] Those same five counties are home to 46 percent of the state’s Black population.[xxxv]
New Jersey’s law disproportionately harms these communities by silencing valuable voices from the political process and by reducing the voting strength of the community as a whole.