Gov. Chris Christie just vetoed a bill that would have made it easier for the people of New Jersey to vote. He argued that rather than helping to get people to the polls, the measure would have increased voter fraud.
The bill passed the state legislature but was stopped cold at Christie’s desk. The measure would have automatically registered voters when they obtained or renewed their driver’s license, driver’s permit, or state identification card unless they specifically chose to opt out.
According to supporters, the legislation would simplify the process of registering to vote, thereby increasing voter participation. They said that the measure would lead to a decrease in costs as well as a reduction in errors on voter rolls. which can cause voters to become disenfranchised.
But Christie argued that the bill would simply leave the door wide open for voter fraud, making it easier to cheat at the polls. Christie told the Asbury Park Press on Thursday that the legislation was a “cocktail of fraud.”
This is just like a cocktail of fraud. I don’t think it’s a lot to ask someone if you want to exercise your right and the privilege to vote to actually register.
Christie said in his veto message that the bill should have been named “The Voter Fraud Enhancement and Permission Act.” He proposed that the measure could be altered to simply inform people of their options for registering when they apply for a driver’s license. The governor also suggested that victims of domestic violence and stalking could be notified that they can register to vote and withhold their address for safety reasons.
I continue to fully support efforts to increase voter registration,” he wrote.
It is worth noting here that cheating at the polls is exceedingly rare. In fact, UFO sightings are more common than voter fraud. This is a Republican myth that has been debunked numerous times, but I digress.
California, Connecticut, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia already register voters automatically and similar measures are being considered in many other states. Earlier this year, a bill was introduced to congress which would automatically register voters nationally, adding approximately 50 million voters.
Hillary Clinton has shown support for the idea. Donald Trump, on the other hand, supports laws that require voters to show identification at the polls. Voter ID laws have been found to discriminate against minority voters, who are more likely to have difficulty obtaining government issued identification. Coincidentally, they are also more likely to vote for Democrats. The Republican nominee has also raised concerns about voter fraud in recent weeks, claiming that the election is going to be “rigged” in favor of Clinton.
Christie, who has endorsed Trump and has taken an important role in his campaign, vetoed similar legislation last year. He also rejected a bill that would have expanded early voting in 2013. On Thursday, he also vetoed a bill that would have allowed 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections if they are going to be 18 and eligible to vote in the general election.
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