Muoio, Zwicker, Gusciora & Benson Introduce Bill to Boost Confidence in Election Results by Requiring Paper Voting Trail
(Trenton, NJ) -- Assembly Democrats Elizabeth Maher Muoio, Andrew Zwicker, Reed Gusciora and Daniel Benson have introduced legislation to protect the integrity of elections by requiring a paper trail for all voting machines in New Jersey.
The bill (A-4619) would require that new voting machines purchased or leased following the bill's effective date must produce a paper record of each vote cast.
"The more dependent our society becomes on technology, the more we realize that it's not always fail-proof. Given the tumultuous election we just went through, it's more pressing than ever that we make sure voters have faith in our democratic system," said Muoio (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). "Paper voting records will create an auditable trail to help ensure the integrity of our elections and provide voters with peace of mind."
"In the past, equipment failures and programming errors have resulted in costly disputes that cast doubt on election results and undermine our democratic process," said Zwicker (D-Somerset/Mercer/Middlesex/ Hunterdon). "Paper ballot verification can help prevent all that and assure voters that their ballots will be counted properly."
"Truly democratic elections require independent verification of results," said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). "In these tenuous times, our democracy must be able to rely on indisputable results. A paper trail will allow both voters and independent auditors to examine the results."
"Without a paper record there is really no way to independently audit election results," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "Paper records will ensure that ballot choices have been recorded as intended to the satisfaction of the voter and for the benefit of our democracy."
Under current law, the requirement for the purchase of new voting machines or retrofitting of existing voting machines to produce a paper record of the votes cast has been suspended until funding is made available from state or federal sources.
Therefore, the bill stipulates that each voting machine that is purchased or leased following the bill's effective date would be required to produce an individual permanent paper record for each vote cast, which must be made available for inspection and verification by the voter at the time the vote is cast, and preserved for later use in any manual audit.
In the event of a recount of the results of an election, the voter-verified paper record of each purchased or leased machine would be used in the calculation of the official tally in that election.
The bill also deletes a provision in current law that allows the Secretary of State to grant a waiver from the requirement to purchase new voting machines or retrofit all existing voting machines if the technology to produce a permanent voter-verified paper record for each vote cast is not commercially available. This change is intended to reflect that the technology is now commercially available.
This bill is prospective in application, and would apply to voting machines purchased or leased following its effective date. The bill would take effect on the next January 1st following its enactment.
The measure has been referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
Zwicker Bill to Help Spur Innovation & Economic Growth through Higher Ed & Business Partnerships Now Law
(Hillsborough, NJ ) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Andrew Zwicker to create a commission comprised of higher education and business professionals to study and strategize on best ways to foster innovation, job growth and economic development in the state has been signed into law.
The law (A-1668) establishes the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and Business Partnerships in the Department of State. The commission will be comprised of: the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development, the Secretary of Higher Education, the Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Authority, 12 members appointed by the Governor, and four members of the public appointed by the leaders of the Senate and General Assembly.
“Our institutions of higher education, our businesses and our industries have a stake in the growth and prosperity of our state,” said Zwicker (D-Somerset/Mercer/Middlesex/Hunterdon). “The brainpower is there. Let’s tap into that wealth of knowledge and build a culture of innovation that will make not just our economy, but our higher education institutions and our industries stronger.”
Legislation Would Incentivize Relocation of Qualified Data Centers to New Jersey
(SOUTH BRUNSWICK) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker that would encourage businesses that specialize in processing, storing and distributing electronic data to relocate to New Jersey was released Monday by an Assembly panel.
“In our 21st-century global economy, just about every major business relies on complex hardware and software. The facilities that house these systems can benefit from relocating to New Jersey and hiring from the state’s highly-educated talent pool,” said Zwicker (D-Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex/Somerset). “The state is lagging behind in this sector. By encouraging data centers to relocate, the state can take advantage of an opportunity to bring high-tech jobs to New Jersey as digital information continues to grow increasingly more essential to various industries.”