Op-Ed: Why book bans and voter suppression go hand in hand.
On Thursday, the New Jersey Board of Elections announced that in the upcoming election, it would not accept any absentee and early voting ballots, as well as any absentee ballots requested by an incarcerated applicant.
The Board of Elections decided the new ruling for the elections, without consulting the attorney general, who could have overturned the ruling.
The board’s action, which followed a ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court, was controversial due to the fact that absentee ballots and early voting were in fact not accepted.
Because many states have used the same excuse for years, there have been concerns about voter fraud that might result from this decision. But, with the new ruling, New Jersey now joins Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, and Oklahoma City as having no absentee ballots being accepted.
The decision by the board is also controversial, coming on the heels of a highly controversial decision by the Supreme Court that would effectively ban same-day voter registration in Tennessee. In its decision, the Supreme Court argued that it was not necessary to vote over the internet as long as a party was registered during the same voting period.
Meanwhile, the state of New Jersey continues to add voters to its rolls every day, registering over 300 people every month.
Opponents of voter suppression do not take kindly to this new decision. “This new ruling against people who are very vulnerable and who have no other way of voting, is just another example of the type of suppression that we saw take place the last few election cycles,” said Dr. Jennifer Fieber, president of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey.
Some states have taken a more measured approach to the issue. In Florida, it is widely known that over 2,000 people have had their voting status revoked, a number which is expected to rise in the coming election season. The state is also currently in the process of revoking the voting status of 7,000 people.
“This new ruling is a direct