New Jersey governor signs automatic voter registration bill

New Jersey governor signs automatic voter registration bill
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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) on Tuesday signed an automatic voter registration bill, making his the 13th state to have such a policy.

The bill, which automatically registers people to vote when they apply for a driver’s license or state ID, was passed by state lawmakers last week.

"We come at this from the point of view that there should be no barriers to register to vote," Murphy said Tuesday. “Registering to vote should be simple and seamless."

"In New Jersey, we recognize our democracy is stronger when more people are given the opportunity to participate and when the residents of our state are empowered to be part of the democratic process," he said.

Murphy criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE over what he called the administration’s effort to “suppress voter rights.”

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GOP figures in the state have been critical of the bill, accusing Democrats of trying to “exploit” registration trends that tend to lean Democratic, according to NJ.com.

The New Jersey policy is one of the most wide-reaching programs in the country. It lets state agencies that collect personal data, such as the state welfare department, automatically register people to vote.

Eleven other states and Washington, D.C,. have also enacted automatic voter registration at motor vehicle offices.

The Center for American Progress, a progressive research group, said that the New Jersey law could lead to the registration of more than half a million people.