NJ MVC Opens

People applying for licenses, registrations and driving tests will now be automatically registered to vote, under a law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in April. The change was made in time for the Nov. 1, 2018, deadline in the law.

Automatic voter registration is now a reality at motor vehicle agencies throughout New Jersey, the Motor Vehicle Commission said Thursday.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill into law in April requiring automatic registration be available by Nov. 1.

Previously, MVC customers had to “opt in,’’ or deliberately select an option to register to vote. Now they are automatically registered unless they select the option declining the opportunity.

All eligible state residents who apply for a driver’s license, an examination permit, a probationary driver’s license or a non-driver identification card will be registered to vote.

“With the implementation of this law, we join a number of other states and the District of Columbia in expanding and protecting voting rights for our citizens,’’ Murphy said in a press release.

Commission staff worked through the weekend to have the electronic voter registration steps in place by this week, MVC Chief Administrator Sue Fulton said.

Fulton said the MVC, in conjunction with the Department of State, used technology already in place to automatically register voters, unless they elect to “opt out” of registering.

She said safeguards are built in for victims of domestic violence or stalking, who may decline the automatic voter registration and register to vote without disclosing their street address.

The law allows for the electronic transmission of voter registration information to the Department of State, for use in the Statewide Voter Registration System.

The law also requires that any change of address for registered voters be transmitted to the secretary of state so voter rolls and information are automatically updated.

Contact: 609-272-7219 mpost@pressofac.com Twitter @MichelleBPost

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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