New Jersey Announces Safeguards to Protect the Right to Vote During the 2024 Primary Election

Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced that the Department of Law and Public Safety (LPS) will be taking steps to help ensure a fair and smooth-running election during the 2024 primary election. He established the initiative prior to the 2022 general election to identify and address voting rights or civil rights violations arising during early voting and on Election Day.

Early voting for New Jersey’s primary election begins on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, and LPS will play a key role in protecting New Jerseyans’ right to vote, as well as in assisting voters, election officials, and law enforcement in resolving voting-related legal matters.

Attorney General Platkin announced that the Voter Protection Initiative will once again work with community stakeholders and partners to identify and address issues affecting voting access. The Voter Protection Initiative focuses on identifying and addressing any voting rights or civil rights violations that may arise during early voting and on Election Day, including under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.

“We will do everything in our power to ensure that every eligible voter is able to exercise this fundamental right without facing intimidation, discrimination, or harassment,” said Attorney General Platkin. “We have built the infrastructure to promptly resolve voting-related issues, and we will hold accountable anyone who attempts to disrupt our democratic process.”

The Department of Law and Public Safety Voting Rights Resources webpage provides New Jersey residents with answers to frequently asked questions regarding the right to vote. The webpage explains how voters can report any problems they encounter during early voting or on Election Day.

In addition to the Voter Protection Initiative, the Division of Law, as it has in previous elections, will make available a team of dedicated attorneys to advise county elections officials around the clock. This aims to facilitate free, fair, and secure elections and swift, unhindered, and equitable access to voting for all eligible individuals, in accordance with New Jersey’s election laws.

In addition, the Department of Law and Public Safety’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability will monitor claims of voter intimidation, improper electioneering, election fraud, and other criminal violations, and will direct reports of election interference to local and federal law enforcement as needed. Also, the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell will be monitoring for election security threats – both cyber and physical.

In 2023, Attorney General Platkin issued an updated Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Guidance for Elections to local law enforcement officials across the State. The Guidance ensures that law enforcement officers are fully informed about the role of law enforcement in elections and laws protecting voters from intimidation and coercion as they exercise their right to vote.

It is a criminal offense to solicit or electioneer voters within a “protective zone” as they enter or exit a polling location. The “protective zone” extends 100 feet from the outside entrance of any polling site. Attempts to interfere with voters within this zone are usually handled by poll site officials, with law enforcement officers from the appropriate agency appearing only when appropriate.

Outside of the Department of Law and Public Safety, the New Jersey Division of Elections webpage provides a list of county-level election office contacts, as well as other useful elections-related information. Members of the public can direct election-related questions to their County Superintendent of Elections and County Board of Elections.

Any person who believes his or her right to vote has been interfered with, or who wishes to report other voting-related problems or concerns, can also call the State’s Voter Information and Assistance line toll-free at 1-877-NJVOTER (1-877-658-6837).

Any member of the public who has been subject to discrimination or harassment in connection with voting may also report the issue to the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights through the NJ BIAS online portal, available at https://bias.njcivilrights.gov, or by calling 1-800-277-BIAS (1-800-277-2427). Depending on their urgency, complaints regarding possible discrimination or harassment filed with the Division on Civil Rights may be addressed during the election or after the election.

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