Long Branch – January 27, 2020- The Arc of Monmouth’s self-advocacy group “People Helping People” launched an online petition on Change.org to develop online voter registration in New Jersey in an effort to eliminate barriers for people with disabilities to vote.
The “People Helping People” is a self-advocacy group of adults with developmental disabilities based out of The Arc’s Work Opportunity Center in Long Branch. The group recognizes the current voter registration form of completing a paper registration is inaccessible to NJ residents who have either a physical or developmental disability. This limited means of registering to vote potentially alienates these individuals from participating in the process of choosing elected officials, voicing their choice on ballot questions, and hinders them in exercising their right to vote.
The petition on Change.org points out that online voter registration currently exists in 37 states, plus the District of Columbia. And according to the Pew Trust, “Online voter registration saves taxpayer dollars, increase the accuracy of voter rolls, and provides a convenient way for Americans to register or update their information.”
NJ residents can sign the “People Helping People” petition at https://www.change.org/p/new-jersey-residents-online-nj-voter-registration to support others to make their voice heard and their vote count.
Update (2/4/20 from Mary Bane, Assistant Director of Vocational Services):
We are writing with an update on the Self Advocacy Group and their efforts to support online voter registration in New Jersey. The SAG People Helping People at the Work Opportunity Center joined in a grassroots movement in October 2019 to advocate for their cause. Through letter writing and social media outreach and by keeping informed of local and state issues, we made our voice heard.
While we began a petition on change.org we are happy to learn that it coincides with Governor Phil Murphy and the signing of a new law. New Jersey Senate Bill S589 will bring online voter registration to residents of NJ with a valid driver's license or non-drivers license identification. Our petition was the culmination of research and outreach in an ongoing statewide movement.
We are happy to have participated in this process and thank you for signing our petition. With the announcement of the issue having become law, our petition remains on change.org to show support to Governor Murphy and appreciation for making this new process possible.