State Assembly Democrats have postponed a planned attempt Thursday to override Gov. Chris Christie’s recent veto of a bill that would automatically register people to vote when they receive or renew their driver’s license. Assemblyman Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex), the main sponsor of the measure, said Democrats called off the vote because of “several absences in our caucus today. Given the general decline in voter participation, this bill is too important to leave to fate,” Coughlin said in a statement shortly before Thursday’s Assembly session was set to begin. “We look forward to announcing a new date soon.” There were 54 “yes” votes in the Assembly when it passed in June – the veto-proof majority necessary in the 80-seat house.
The Assembly, the lower house of the state Legislature, would need 54 votes to override Christie’s veto. Two of the chamber’s 52 Democrats were absent from Thursday’s voting session.
Christie, a Republican, has never seen any of his vetoes successfully overridden by the Democratically controlled Legislature.
But this bill (A1944) appears to have a shot in the Assembly. Fifty-four members of the 80-seat chamber already voted yes when it passed June — the veto-proof majority needed in the Assembly.
Christie conditionally vetoed the legislation in September, saying it was an invitation to fraud.