Call Speaker Coughlin and Governor Murphy Today!
Thanks to dedicated members like you, NJA5306, which passed the Assembly in June, was amended and released in the Senate The bill now needs to be posted by Speaker Coughlin for a concurrence vote on Monday, January 10th. A concurrence vote means the Assembly has to approve the Senate amendments.
The bill allows overseas voters who mark their Federal Post Card Application (FPCA-overseas ballot request) “return uncertain” to vote in NJ state elections (Governor, NJ State Senate, NJ State Assembly) but not local elections (local school board, town council, local Mayor). Back in June, when the bill passed the Assembly, we compromised and gave up getting our local voting rights back because the Assembly felt that those who might not return to NJ don’t have enough of a vested interest in local government to be able to vote on that level. Although we disagreed, we accepted that compromise so we could get our voting rights back on the state level, which we lost in 2017 thanks to Chris Christie.
We need you to take two actions today so the bill can be sent to Governor Murphy and signed into law:
Please call Speaker Coughlin today and ask him to put A5306 up for a concurrence vote on January 10th and support the Senate version, which does not include expanded local voting rights. Speaker Coughlin’s contact information is:
PHONE: (732) 855-7441 (phone calls are best)
EMAIL: [email protected] (emails can help)
We also need you to call Governor Murphy today and ask him to sign the bill when it arrives on his desk. Governor Murphy's contact information is:
PHONE: (609) 292-6000
EMAIL: Select this link Governor.
You can find both scripts for Speaker Coughlin and the Governor below. This action today is the difference between our New Jersey members having voting rights or not.
I'll do it!
Talking Points/Script for Speaker Coughlin:
- Hi my name is --------. I'm a New Jersey voter, who lives in (country where you live) and I vote by mail every year I am allowed to vote.
A5306 allows those who mark their overseas ballot request “return uncertain” to vote in state elections.
- This bill has passed the Assembly and the Senate.
- Now the bill needs to be put up for a concurrence vote this Monday January 10th because the Senate amended it.
- I am calling to ask the Speaker to post the bill for a concurrence vote on January 10th and support the Senate version.
- The Assembly version unintentionally had an error that takes voting rights away from those who mark their overseas ballot request “intend to return.” The Senate version fixes this so the bill helps people and not takes voting rights away from people.
- Voters who mark their ballot request “intend to return” are your traditional absentee voters, just like in country voters who are temporarily absent from the state.
- These voters are students, those on temporary work assignments, those who have seasonal houses, and active military.
When you are an overseas voter and want to vote you fill out a Federal Post Card Application know as an FPCA. The FPCA asks you three questions:
Do you intend to return?
Is your return uncertain?
Have you never resided in the USA?
- Unfortunately, when the Assembly amended the bill introduced by Assemblywoman Downey and Assemblyman Mukherji to not allow those whose return to NJ is uncertain to vote in local elections, they swept in those who mark their FPCA “intend to return.”
- Again “intend to return” voters are people temporarily absent from the state.
- Governor Murphy will not support a bill that takes voting rights away from people and I am sure the Speaker does not believe in taking voting rights away either.
- This was just a mistake that the Senate fixed.
- Currently, every state in the United States, including NJ, allows these voters who intend to return to their state to vote in local elections.
- A5306 is meant to help people--not take voting rights away!
- Can I count on the Speaker to post A5306 for a concurrence vote on January 10th and support the Senate version?
WAIT FOR AN ANSWER.
- Thank you for your time.
Talking Points/Script for Governor Murphy:
Hi my name is --------
I am a New Jersey voter, voting in ---------- County, and I currently live in [Current Country]
I regularly vote by absentee ballot.
(If asked for an address) Would you like my voting address?
- I'm calling because overseas voters have lost their voting rights, and I would like to speak to whomever handles voting law in this office.
Once you get an aide on the phone repeat why you are calling and then say:
Overseas voters fill out a different ballot request than other NJ voters. On the Overseas ballot request, which is called an FPCA, there is a question that asks if your return is uncertain. Many overseas voters check the “return uncertain” box because they do not know when they will return to the state. NJ voters have no idea they will lose their right to vote in state elections when they check that box. Life is full of uncertainty; we should not lose our voting rights because of it.
New Jersey Overseas voters are stakeholders in state government no matter when or if they return to New Jersey on many issues such as climate change, education, health insurance, net neutrality, and of course, our voting rights and procedures.
- There is a bill, A5306, that will rectify this problem.
- Would the Governor please sign the bill into law when it arrives on his desk?
WAIT FOR AN ANSWER!
- Just so you know, we formerly had the right to vote in all levels of government before 2017, and we are just looking to restore this voting right.
- I would like to add that the majority of states in our country allow us to vote on all levels of government. NJ is one of the small handful of states that denies us the right to vote. Would you please ask the Governor to sign A5306 into law?
[If applicable: I cannot vote in my host country.] I’m a New Jersey citizen. I believe I have the right to vote. I can’t vote where I’m currently residing. We all have a reason to vote. New Jersey is my home. Will Governor Murphy sign A5306 into law?
- Thank you so much for your time. Is there any contact I can follow up with you about the bill?
Thank you so much for volunteering!
If you have any questions or make any contacts, please email us at: [email protected]
We can help communicate important facts about the bill.
Please support our work protecting and expanding the overseas vote by donating here!