Institute Responds to Gov. Murphy’s Budget Address



Institute Responds to Gov. Murphy’s Budget Address


NEWARK – The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice today issued the following statement in response to Gov. Murphy’s budget address:

“There is much to be encouraged by in the budget proposal announced by Gov. Murphy today.

"We are heartened that Governor Murphy is investing $5 million toward early voting. It is more important than ever to invest in broadening and strengthening our democracy. Early voting – which we have long called for – will do just that.

Institute and League of Women Voters of NJ Respond to Gov. Murphy’s General Election Plan



Institute and League of Women Voters of NJ Respond to Gov. Murphy’s General Election Plan


NEWARK – The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and the League of Women Voters of New Jersey issued the following statement responding to today’s announcement by Governor Murphy regarding procedures for the Nov. 3 General Election:

“These are unprecedented times and we appreciate that Governor Murphy had many factors to weigh to protect both our democracy and public health for the General Election in November.

“We are heartened that eligible voters will be receiving mail-in ballots, and that they can return them via mail, drop boxes or at polling places on Election Day. It is also important that online voter registration will be available on September 4, 2020.

NJ Redistricting Proposal Could Delay Minority Representation

NJTV's Raven Santana reports

Monday morning members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee held a meeting via Zoom to discuss a proposed constitutional amendment that would keep current district lines in place until the 2023 election, for a total of 12 years, instead of the 10 now mandated in the constitution.

Assemblyman John McKeon, the sponsor of bill ACR188, says due to the uncertainty of COVID-19, he’s concerned the state won’t have the most up-to-date census data, which is why he proposed the amendment.

“If we’re concerned about a census undercount in these communities of color, we should also be concerned with how delaying the drawing and implementation of a new redistrict map is going to also impact these same communities of color,” said Helen Kioukis, program associate for the New Jersey League of Women Voters.

As Covid Delays Census, Lawmakers Seek To Extend Outdated Map

NJ 101.5's Michael Symons reports

New Jersey’s population has changed significantly since 2010, but a delay in the census has state lawmakers pushing to run one more election on the decade-old legislative map.

COVID-19 will delay the completion of the census by at least four months, blowing up the schedule for adjusting district boundaries for 2021 elections. Democrats plan to ask voters to amend the constitution to delay redistricting until the 2023 cycle, despite New Jersey’s rapid diversification and changing growth patterns.

How Can NJ's Municipalities Make Progress Toward Racial Justice?'s Alexis Shanes reports

While calls abound for federal and state initiatives to address systemic racism, experts and New Jersey activists are pushing for change community by community, looking to the state’s 565 municipalities for justice-oriented change.

They are fighting to keep the momentum going, sparking unprecedented reckonings about race and pushing for change that they say is long overdue, even as the large-scale protests that gripped the U.S. in June slow to a trickle.

“Black and brown people know this is the reality,” said Liza Chowdhury, a social sciences and criminal justice professor at Borough of Manhattan Community College. “What’s happening now is that all of America is waking up to the reality of Black people in this country.”

Democrats Move Plan to Delay Redistricting of State Legislative Seats

NJ Spotlight's Colleen O'Dea reports

Democrats in the Legislature are moving ahead with a proposed constitutional amendment that would delay the redrawing of district boundaries by two years, a plan unpopular among a number of progressive groups and Republicans.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee has scheduled a required public hearing on the amendment, which must ultimately be approved by voters, for Monday at 10 a.m. Both legislative houses need to move quickly to approve the measure with 60% majority votes by Aug. 3, the deadline for placing a question on the November ballot.

Measure to Delay New Jersey's Post-Census Redistricting Faces Stiff Opposition

The Center Square's Kim Jarrett reports

Several groups are opposing a bill that would delay New Jersey’s redistricting process until 2023 and allow 2021 district elections to be held based on current district lines.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee voted to send the bill to the Speaker for consideration after hearing about two and a half hours of testimony on Thursday with Republican members voting "no."

New Jersey is one of only two states that holds district elections in 2021. The bill’s Democratic sponsors say the change is needed because the 2020 Census Bureau data needed to redraw district lines might not be available until the end of July 2021 instead of February.

Citing Census Delay, New Jersey Looks to Push Legislative Redistricting to 2023's Michael Macagnone reports

Pandemic-related census delays have already caused political fallout in one state, with New Jersey’s legislature kicking off the process to delay its legislative redistricting process from 2021 to 2023.

An altered schedule has led the Census Bureau to ask Congress for an extension that could result in delivering the data needed to draw state legislative maps as late as next July, about a month after New Jersey’s planned primary date.

On Thursday, the state Assembly's Judiciary Committee voted 4-2 to advance a measure that would delay its mapmaking process to 2023, with Democrats arguing that would give the state's normal redistricting process enough time to come up with a fair map for legislative seats.

N.J. Voters Will Get To Correct Signature Issues On Mail-in Ballots In Primary Elections's Rebecca Panico reports

Residents whose votes are tentatively rejected due to inconsistent or missing signatures in the upcoming July 7 primary will get the opportunity to fix their ballots after an agreement was reached Tuesday in a federal lawsuit.

The suit was filed last month against New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way by a resident with Parkinson’s disease, who said his shaking hand changed his signature. The agreement alleviates concerns from the League of Women’s Voters and NAACP in New Jersey, both plaintiffs in the case, about a mostly vote-by-mail primary election that was ordered by Gov. Phil Murphy and moved from June 2 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Progress Made With Fair Ballot Signature Match Process For July 7 Primary

Gloucester City News reports

NEWARK, NJ—Late Tuesday, parties in LWV New Jersey v. Way reached an agreement establishing a notice and cure process for vote-by-mail ballots in New Jersey. If the district court judge accepts the agreement, voters who cast mail-in ballots in the state’s July 7 primary election will be notified of ballot issues and given the opportunity to fix them. As this agreement only applies to the July 7 primary, the case will continue until a permanent resolution is reached.

“This agreement is a significant win for New Jersey voters, and we are glad that Secretary of State Way understood that it was critical to provide a fix to New Jersey’s egregious ballot signature match process ahead of the primary election,” said Jesse Burns, executive director of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey. “We are hopeful the judge will accept our agreement so that all voters, especially disabled, elderly, and language minority voters, will be able to cast their mail-in ballots safely and with confidence, knowing that their votes won’t be rejected for signature issues without remedy or recourse.”