With midterms quickly approaching and anti-voter legislation cropping up throughout the country, there couldn’t be a more important time to get involved in making the ballot fair and accessible to all Americans.
To kick-start the new year, January 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, join the King family and fellow advocates as we Deliver For Voting Rights. As stated by Martin Luther King III, “President Biden and Congress used their political muscle to deliver a vital infrastructure deal, and now we are calling on them to do the same to restore the very voting rights protections my father and countless other civil rights leaders bled to secure.”
And there’s much more to come after that.
Get involved in a Year of Action: join your local League today!
Take Action: Tell President Biden to Champion Federal Voting Rights Reforms
The Biden-Harris Administration rose into office only after the historic 2020 election achieved record-shattering voter participation and necessary expansions to voter access during a deadly pandemic. But now those very same expansive innovations and reforms for voting are under direct assault across the country. The nation is on the precipice of sliding back into an era of Jim Crow, a racial caste system that legitimized anti-blackness and thwarted multiculturalism. Yet the Biden-Harris administration has used few of the tools at its disposal to champion federal voting rights reforms.
Now is not the time to back down, but to surge forward. Federal voting rights protections cannot wait and are vital to saving the soul of our democracy. The League is calling for the White House to harness its substantial power and influence to lead the fight for voting rights reforms that will:
- Protect and enforce voting rights;
- Address the historical barriers to voting
- Provide oversight on voting rights violations
- Hold states and bad actors accountable; and
- Create a democracy that is representative of all Americans.
Your voice is powerful, now it’s time to raise it up to the Oval Office. Call on the Biden-Harris White House to lead this fight to protect the freedom to vote. Click here to support this effort through the League of Women Voters NJ.
Take Action: Tell President Biden to Champion Federal Voting Rights Reforms
Take Action: Tell the Senate to Support the Freedom to Vote Act! The fight for voting rights has been a long and enduring battle. And the newly released Freedom to Vote Act is a transformative voting rights bill that will protect and expand the right to vote, decrease the influence of money in politics and curb partisan gerrymandering. This legislation will put power back into the hands of American voters by prioritizing voting access and participation, while also modernizing future elections to ensure a system that everyone can trust. The Freedom to Vote Act addresses some of the most pressing issues facing our democracy by:
- Protecting voting rights;
- Getting big money out of politics; and
- Curbing gerrymandering.
For months, the American people have been calling for national standards to protect our freedom to vote, ensure fair representation, and get big money out of politics. The introduction of the Freedom to Vote Act is proof that our voices have power in the halls of the US Senate. It’s again time to add your voice and speak out! The Freedom to Vote Act ensures that our democracy is protected and serves the American people. Your voice will continue the fight for this sweeping voting rights package.
Contact your senators TODAY and tell them to vote yes on the Freedom to Vote Act. Return control of our government back where it belongs — into the hands of the people. Click here to take action.
Take Action: Tell Your Senators to Support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act
The Senate just introduced the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (JLVRAA), which will fully restore the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and ensure renewed oversight, accountability, and justice in our democracy. We must ensure that every voter is treated fairly at the ballot box and has equal access to vote.
The attack on our freedom to vote must come to an end.
Since the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder, rolled back key provisions of the VRA, the voting rights of millions have been threatened. These attacks have become more prevalent in the last few years, with the VRA being further comprised in the more recent Brnovich v. DNC.
We cannot stand for a democracy that enables such regressive and dangerous attacks, which disproportionately impact Black and brown voters.
The new version of the JLVRAA will restore the VRA and put an end to discriminatory voting policies.
At this critical moment in our nation’s history, we need the JLVRAA! Tell your senators to vote yes on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and live up to the full promise of American democracy. In order to address your message to the appropriate recipient, we need to identify where you are. Click here to take action.
Get Ready for Election Day 2020
September 15, 2020 – The League of Women Voters in Pompton Lakes wants to make sure everyone is ready for the upcoming November Election.
Make sure you’re ready to vote:
Governor Murphy Announces Vote by Mail for November 2020 Election
August 14, 2020 – Governor Murphy announced that the November 3rd Election will be primarily vote-by-mail.
All active registered New Jersey voters will automatically receive a prepaid return-postage vote-by-mail ballot.
No one should have to choose between their right to vote and their health.
- All active registered New Jersey voters will automatically receive a prepaid return-postage vote-by-mail ballot.
- Online voter registration will be available September 4, 2020.
- All ballots will be mailed from County Clerks by Monday, October 5th. Voters will be able return ballots by mail, by depositing it in a secure drop box, or by handing it directly to a poll worker at a polling place on Election Day.
- All ballots being returned through the mail must be postmarked by November 3rd and received no later than 8 pm on November 10. Ballots that lack postmarks due to postal error received by November 5th will be valid.
- There will be in-person polls open for the November 3rd Election. Each municipality will be required to open at least one in-person polling site. All counties must ensure that at least 50% of their total polling places are open. Any voter who chooses to cast their vote in-person will do so on a provisional ballot. All individuals with disabilities will have access to an ADA-conforming voting machine.
Voter Records – NJ Board of Elections
Pompton Lakes, NJ, July 20, 2020 — The League of Women Voters of Pompton Lakes, NJ, wants to make citizens aware of a resource available to all voters. The NJ Division of Elections makes available a resource to registered voters enabling them to confirm voting records at this NJ Divisions of Elections link. If you are setting up an account for the first time, click the “Sign Up for Public Access” link to set up your NJ Voter Information System account.
Mail-in Ballot Q&A
Pompton Lakes, NJ, July 20, 2020 — The League of Women Voters of Pompton Lakes, NJ, answers the questions on your mind about mail-in ballots. Download our Question & Answers document about mail-in ballots. Click on the link below for more information.
Important NJ Primary Election Information
Pompton Lakes, NJ, June 9, 2020 — The League of Women Voters of Pompton Lakes, NJ, reminds the public of changes to the upcoming July 7 Primary Election. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this election will be conducting primarily by vote-by-mail ballots with limited in-person voting options available.
The registration deadline for the upcoming primary election is June 16, 2020. Voter registration forms are available at http://www.lwvnj.org. They must be printed out, signed, and mailed. If voters do not have access to a printer or need assistance, please contact the League of Women Voters of New Jersey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can register to vote if you are U.S citizen, 17 years old (with the understanding you may not vote before your 18th birthday), have been a resident of your NJ county 30 days before the elections, and you are not currently serving a sentence of incarceration for a felony conviction. Remember to re-register to vote if you change your name, address, or complete your sentence of incarceration. People on parole or probation can register to vote.
Vote-by-mail ballots will automatically be sent to all active registered Republican and Democratic voters. All unaffiliated voters and inactive Republican and Democratic voters will receive a vote-by-mail application. Both the ballot and application will have pre-paid postage. The deadline to apply by mail to receive a Mail-in Ballot is June 30. Your County Clerk must receive mailed applications by that date. Voters may also apply in-person to the County Clerk for a mail-in ballot is July 7, prior to 8:00 pm.
To the extent possible, there will be at least 5 readily accessible secure ballot drop box locations per county to submit your vote-by-mail ballot. If you submit your vote-by-mail ballot using a drop-box, you must return the ballot on or before July 7, 2020 prior to 8:00 pm. You can return your vote by mail ballot in-person to your county Board of Elections by 8 pm on July 7 as well. You can also return your vote-by-mail ballot by placing it in your mailbox using the U.S. Postal Service. The ballot must be postmarked on or before July 7 and received by the Board of Elections by 8 pm on July 14, 2020 to be considered valid.
Each municipality will have a minimum of one polling location available and each county will open a minimum of 50% of its polling places, provided sufficient poll workers are available. Polling place locations will be announced June 15 and voters will receive mailed notification of polling locations. Voters will not receive sample ballots.
CDC guidelines for polling place safety and sanitation will be followed. Voters who vote at polling locations will vote using a paper provisional ballot. Voters with disabilities may vote on ADA accessible voting machines. Voters cannot return voted vote-by-mail ballots to polling places.
The League of Women Voters encourages active and informed participation in our democracy. Voters must pay close attention to election changes and deadlines to ensure their voices are heard and their vote’s count. Please visitww.lwvnj.org for more important election information.
NJ League of Women Voters –
Newsletter for the week of 6/8/20:
If you are like me, you might have commented from time to time that 2020 feels like the worst year ever. It’s been rough. Many of us are just entering Phase 1 of our states’ re-opening plans. We’ve seen challenges to our democracy, a global pandemic, and more Black lives lost because of the color of their skin. It’s hard not to feel hopeless. But what if 2020 is actually a turning point?
For the full newsletter, click on this link to the NJlWV Newsletter for the week of 6/8/20
Statement Regarding George Floyd
from the LWV of NJ
June 8, 2020 – The League of Women Voters of New Jersey echoes the League of Women Voters of the United States’ statement regarding the murder of George Floyd. It read, in part:
“The League of Women Voters grieves the murders of George Floyd and the countless other Black lives that have been tragically taken at the hands of rogue law enforcement officers who are rarely held fully accountable for their actions.
We also mourn those who have lost their lives or been harmed, mentally or physically, as a result of America’s pervasive culture of anti-blackness. The systems of oppression that have perpetuated the myth of white supremacy in our country must be dismantled if we are ever to become the nation we pledge to be—indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
As an organization whose mission is to empower voters and defend democracy, we stand in solidarity with all Black communities. The League shall do so not only by speaking out against racism in all forms, but by doing the work required of us to be anti-racist. We are committed to listening to and amplifying Black voices, and educating ourselves and our children on the historic and ongoing systemic racism that plagues this country.
The League acknowledges, painfully, that America is a nation founded on racism. Therefore, all who live in this country must contribute to and participate in organizations actively working to achieve full liberation and inclusive freedom. We must all advocate for anti-racist policies at every level of government.”
Please read the full statement here as well as this powerful post, “Standing in Solidarity with the Black Community,” from LWVUS CEO Virginia Kase.
The League of Women Voters of New Jersey must work to be a better partner and ally. We have formed a Social Justice committee to mobilize our membership and use our organizational power to advocate for policy changes that aim to dismantle systemic racism. We are looking for members to join that committee immediately. Please contact Jesse Burns at email@example.com if you are willing to serve.
We are also calling a special meeting of our leadership to ensure every New Jersey chapter is empowered to call out racism and influence public policy in every corner of this state.
And we are standing with our partners in calling for a full and transparent investigation into the police shooting of Maurice Gordon, an unarmed black man killed in Burlington County two days before the murder of George Floyd.
The League of Women Voters is committed to combating voter suppression and fighting for an inclusive and participatory democracy, but without racial and economic justice our democracy will continue to fail too many. Black Lives Matter.
League of Women Voters of New Jersey Board of Directors
Jesse Burns, Executive Director
Vote-by-Mail Ballot for July 7, 2020 Primary Election
June 8, 2020 – In the recent Borough of Pompton Lakes newsletter sent on Monday, June 1, 2020, Pompton Lakes Mayor Serra shared the following:
The Office of Passaic County Clerk Danielle Ireland-Imhof advises residents throughout Passaic County that on May 15, 2020 New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy signed Executive Order No. 144 which states, every registered voter will received a vote-by-mail ballot or application for the July 7, 2020 Primary Election. This Executive Order continues to ensure voters preserve their constitutional right to vote while upholding the priority of public health during the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Specific changes included in Executive Order No. 144 are as follows:
- All active, registered Democratic and Republican voters will receive a vote-by-mail ballot without the need to fill out an application.
- All inactive, registered Democratic and Republican voters will receive an application for a vote-by-mail ballot.
All unaffiliated registered voters will receive an application for a vote-by-mail ballot. If you wish to vote in the Primary Election, you will need to select the party you wish to be affiliated with and you will receive that party’s ballot. You may return to an unaffiliated status following the July 7, 2020 Primary Election by contacting the Passaic County Superintendent of Elections.
- The deadline to return the vote-by-mail application and receive a vote-by-mail ballot has been suspended.
- A prepaid postage envelope will be provided to use when mailing back the completed ballot or application.
- Sample ballots will not be mailed out. Sample ballots will be available to view on the County Clerk’s website, www.PassaicCountvClerk.org, as well as available at the polling place on Election Day.
- For the July 7, 2020 Primary Election, polling places may be reassigned by the County Board of Elections. You will receive advanced notice in the mail with the details and address of your polling location for this specific election. Voters will NOT be allowed to vote on machines at polling places, instead they will receive a Provisional Ballot (paper ballot) to vote on.
- Voters with disabilities will be required to sign a certification and will be allowed to vote on an Americans with Disabilities Act accessible machine at the polling location.
- Voters may not bring their completed vote-by-mail ballot to a polling place to be returned.
- Vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked on or before July 7, 2020 and received by the Board of Elections by July 14, 2020 at 8 p.m. to be considered valid and to be canvassed.
Additionally, Clerk Ireland-Imhof reminds residents that the deadline to register to vote in this Primary Election is Tuesday, June 16, 2020. For more information on registering to vote, please contact the Passaic County Superintendent of Elections.
League of Women Voters NJ – Mail Ballot Rejection
June 8, 2020 – The League of Women Voters of New Jersey, along with its partners, filed a lawsuit challenging New Jersey’s practice of rejecting thousands of mail-in ballots each election due to signature mismatches. On May 12, 32 municipalities held elections entirely by vote-by-mail and we are receiving reports of a high number of rejected ballots.
New Jersey’s signature match policies are seriously flawed. Currently, when a signature on a mail-in ballot is flagged as a mismatch, a voter’s ballot is rejected without any opportunity to remedy the issue. New Jersey’s failure to provide vote-by-mail voters with clear and prompt notice of, and an opportunity to cure, signature related issues is unconstitutional.
Millions of New Jersey voters will receive vote-by-mail ballots ahead of the primary and we must make sure every eligible vote counts. The League of Women Voters of NJ lawsuit demands that voters are notified if there is an issue with their signature and that they are given an opportunity to cure the alleged defect in time for their vote to be counted.
We want voters to be confident using mail-in ballots and voting safely from home during the pandemic. We need to fix this flaw now.
We are asking League members to step forward if they had their vote-by-mail ballot rejected for any reason. We are particularly interested in learning if League members had their ballots rejected for signature match issues. Your story can help us change this policy and ensure voters have an opportunity to cure their ballots in the future.
Please email your mail-in ballot experience to Jesse Burns, LWVNJ Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!