A key Democratic state senator says he will introduce legislation allowing voter registration on Election Day as a new study shows New Jersey voter turnout lagged the nation last year and more than 50 percent showed up at the polls in states that have such laws. New Jersey ranked 40th in voter turnout last year, with only 32.5 percent of registered voters casting ballots, according to a report released today by Nonprofit VOTE, a non-partisan research group based in Boston. The national rate was 37 percent. All three of the top voter turnout states allow voters to concurrently register and cast a ballot on Election Day: Maine at 59 percent, Wisconsin at 57 percent, and Colorado at 55 percent, according to the report.
The Nonprofit VOTE study also found that in the 13 states that allow Election Day voter registration, the average turnout was 51 percent last year, 15 percentage points higher the 37 other states.
State Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) said that’s enough fuel for him to push for Election Day voter registration.
“It’s embarrassing for the world’s greatest democracy to have such a poor record of voter participation,” said Lesniak, “It’s doubly embarrassing to have New Jersey at the bottom of the pack.”