New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) appears likely to veto a package of election reforms aimed at improving the state’s sparse voter turnout that was passed out of the Democrat-controlled legislature. The Democracy Act was passed out of the state Senate on June 29 and sent to Christie’s desk. The bill would introduce online voter registration, establish in-person early voting, require that election materials be available in more languages, allow pre-registration for 17-year-olds and enact automatic voter registration when voters apply for driver’s licenses. It would also require the governor to appoint temporary U.S. senators from the same party as outgoing senators and prevent the governor from scheduling special elections on a different date from the November election, as Christie did for U.S. Sen. Cory Booker’s (D) special election. Christie has already expressed his opposition to the automatic registration provision. The measure would echo the first-in-the-nation automatic registration bill Oregon passed earlier this year. While Oregon recorded one of the nation’s highest voter turnout rates in November, New Jersey had one of the lowest. (New Jersey also ranks 39th among states in the percentage of its eligible voters who are registered.)
… The governor suggested that the bill would increase voter fraud, and that it’s an attempt by Democrats to increase turnout among their supporters. He also argued that low turnout wasn’t necessarily the result of obstacles to ballot access. Maybe, he said, “there’s nothing on the ballot they want to vote for.”
“There’s no question in my mind that there are some advocates of this who are looking to increase the opportunity for voter fraud,” he added on the show. “I think there’s much more politics behind this than there is democracy.”
A Christie spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment from The Huffington Post as to whether or when he would veto the bill. He vetoed a different early voting proposal in 2013.