NJ Herald wrong on motor-voter, as some say prison voting is next.
The New Jersey Herald ran a seriously limp editorial yesterday.
Here's what they had to say:
What's the harm in making voting easier?
New Jersey this week became the 12th state -- the third so far this year -- to approve automatic voter registration when persons get or renew their driver's licenses.
Though voter registration had previously been possible at MVC offices in New Jersey, persons had to opt in. The law passed by the Legislature along party lines and signed by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday automatically would register eligible persons to vote unless they opt out. Eligible, by the way, means that among the criteria, they would have to be legal citizens.
What the Herald doesn't explain is that at the request of several Democrat-leaning organizations, the majority Democrats amended this bill (A-2014) in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The committee added language to expand "required automatic voter registration" to other state agencies as well, including welfare and parole offices. One Democrat claimed that this bill would "help convicts get onto the voter rolls once they have completed their sentences."
As many who are paying attention to the New Jersey Democrats' agenda already know, the Democrats are very keen on extending voter registration to prison inmates convicted of crimes of all kinds. Essentially, they want to turn prisons into massive get-out-the-vote operations in order to swing an election or two. Is A-2014 a first step down that road?
What is even more curious is what's left out of the bill. Why isn't a potential voter automatically signed-up when he or she pays property taxes or the state income tax? How about when someone applies for a hunting or fishing license -- or a firearms permit? What about automatic registration when you apply for any one of the licenses required to operate a small business or a professional license or a license for self-employment?
If the goal is to "increase voter turnout" -- then why not cast a wider net?
The Democrats appear to know exactly which voters they want this law to reach and those they don't much care about. We hope that A-2014 wasn't the product of mere cynicism and that some good will come from it.
As for "increasing voter turnout", one suggestion does come to our mind and that is providing voters with more choices. We'd love to see more parties but in much of New Jersey there are not even two. In this year's Freeholder races in Sussex County, for instance, the Sussex County Democrats didn't even turn in petitions to run. That means that only Republicans will be on the ballot in November.
Sussex County isn't alone. In many other places the Republicans failed to turn in petitions. Nobody needs a new law to address this. Just candidates. One party elections are a good way to kill turnout.