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Assembly panel advances voting reforms meant to speed election results

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Changes sought after winners of a slew of November races weren’t initially clear

Lawmakers from both parties have sought changes to election law after a slew of November races weren’t known for weeks. (Daniella Heminghaus for New Jersey Monitor) In a show of bipartisanship, an Assembly panel unanimously approved a series of tweaks to New Jersey’s voting systems Tuesday.

The proposed changes include allowing ballots to be counted before Election Day, truncating the state’s grace period for late-arriving mail-in ballots, and requiring rolling reporting of election results.

Lawmakers have sought changes to the state’s election laws amid growing frustration with slow reporting of election results seen in recent years, especially after last year’s gubernatorial and legislative races .

“The heart of this package is designed to update the way we count and report ballots so that citizens have trust in the way our elections are conducted and maintain confidence in their outcomes,” said Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex).

Foremost among the bills is A3822 . That measure, sponsored by Coughlin, would cut the grace period for late-arriving vote-by-mail ballots postmarked by Election Day from six days to three, allow election officials to begin opening the outer envelopes of mail-in ballots up to five […]

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