Legislation Introduced To Extend Poll Closing Times In NJ By An Hour

Senator Doug Steinhardt has introduced legislation that would extend the closing times of polling places on election day and during early voting periods by one hour.

“This legislation would provide voters with additional time to cast their ballots on election day and during early voting periods, resulting in more convenience and flexibility for evening voters,” said Senator Steinhardt (R-23).

S-2984 would require polling places for the primary and general elections to open at 6 a.m. and would extend the closing time from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Polling places for school elections would be open for an additional hour with voting hours from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.  In the event a school board wishes to designate additional times for voting, the period of time in which the additional hours can be designated would also be extended from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

This legislation would also extend the closing times for early voting sites by one hour for the primary and general elections. Designated early voting locations would be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

To help facilitate the elections process, municipal clerks’ offices would be open an additional hour on election day to assist voters from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

In addition to polling hours, the bill would extend the time for which minors between 16 and 18 years of age, serving as poll workers, would be required to stop working. The current law states that these individuals are permitted to serve until 9 p.m., which would be extended one hour to 10 p.m.

“The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy and this legislation would help ensure that all voters can make their voices heard in our elections,” said Sen. Steinhardt.

If signed into law, New Jersey would join New York in offering general election polling hours from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. statewide. Primary election polling places close at 9 p.m. in New York City and certain New York counties.

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