No Excuses This Year, Vote!
The 4.8 million voter registration number most likely comes from the cleaned up State list, with people no longer eligible to vote in New Jersey removed, as required by law. However, the county voter lists with 6 million plus is the one that will be used for this year’s election.
This will be the fourth straight year New Jersey’s “state Attorney General's Office failed to comply with federal voting laws.” A 2005 study uncovered thousands of cases in New Jersey where ineligible people voted, voted more than once or voted posthumously in the 2004 election. By the time a suit wound its way through the court system it was too late to remove ineligible voters from the registration rolls in time for the 2005 election.
Last year the state provided a completely unbelievable excuse for failing to comply with the law. A representative from the state Attorney General's Office told Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg the state’s “registrar was unaware that this was one of his obligations."
"That is almost impossible to understand," replied Feinberg.This year’s excuse is that the statewide voter registration system that was supposed to have been operational last January has encountered problems:
Feinberg turned to Deputy Attorney General Karen DuMars, who was representing Attorney General Peter C. Harvey. "This is the first time this has come to the attention of the attorney general," DuMars said.
"I'm dumbfounded. I just don't understand it," Feinberg responded. "The notion that this was a statutory responsibility that was unknown to the registrar is just hard to swallow," Feinberg said.
The agreement between the U.S. Attorney's Office and the state Attorney General's Office stalled the full implementation of the statewide voter registration system, as required under provisions of the federal Help America Vote Act. The system, which was supposed to be ready by last January, has had significant programming problems during testing that could disenfranchise voters, officials said.New Jersey voters who will be disenfranchised this year due to voter fraud can take comfort in knowing the state has agreed to be in compliance with the law next year.
The state contracted Covansys Corporation in March 2005 to develop, install and implement the statewide system. Covansys subcontracted the work to PCC Technology Group, which failed to meet specifications and was removed from the project last January.
The state has agreed to have its system fully compliant with HAVA by May 30, 2007. As part of that agreement, the state must also take "reasonable steps" to identify possible duplicate registrations, deceased registrants and registered voters who became ineligible to vote due to conviction of an indictable offense.Meanwhile, Hudson County Democrats are finalizing their election plans:
The county Democratic leadership held their weekly meeting yesterday and Sen. Majority Leader and HCDO Chairman Bernard Kenny made it clear to everyone what was expected of them in the Senate race. Kenny said Menendez needs at least a net vote result of 58,000.David Rebovich provides additional insight:
David Rebovich, managing director of the Rider University Institute for New Jersey Politics, said Republicans will likely focus on suburban areas, with Democrats targeting urban areas in Camden, Essex and Hudson counties.As bleak as this may sound, New Jersey’s urban machine can be beaten, if taxpayers vote. If you’re sick and tired of high taxes and political corruption in New Jersey, take away the machine’s power – Vote! Don’t let the machine politicians get away with one more scam – Vote!
But Rebovich said Menendez may need extra effort for his urban focus because those areas lack competitive U.S. House races. He said the lack of competitive House races may depress voter turnout throughout the state.
"So he (Menendez) is going to have to spend some street money," Rebovich said, referring to how New Jersey candidates typically pay people about $50 to round up voters on Election Day.
The election will be held on Tuesday, November 7. If you haven’t registered, you have until October 17 – here are the county locations and office hours. For registered voters unable to make it to the voting booth on Election Day, for whatever reason, here’s how to vote by Absentee Ballot.
No excuses this year, Vote!