New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced several key measures the Department of Law and Public Safety will be taking during the 2022 General Election to help ensure a fair, free, and smooth-running election, to protect the right to vote, and to assist voters, election officials, and law enforcement in resolving any emergent voting-related legal matters.

Early voting in New Jersey will begin on Saturday, Oct. 29 and will end on Sunday, Nov. 6.  During that time and on Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 8, many divisions of the Department of Law and Public Safety will have a role in ensuring free and fair elections in the State of New Jersey.

To safeguard the right to vote, the attorney general announced that the Office of the Attorney General and the Division on Civil Rights are establishing a Voter Protection Initiative for the 2022 general election. The Initiative will focus on identifying and addressing any voting rights or civil rights violations, including under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, that may arise during early voting and on Election Day.

The Attorney General’s Voter Protection Initiative will work with community stakeholders and partners to identify and address voting access issues. The Voter Protection Initiative will operate independently of the attorneys in the division of law who represent county elections officials and the secretary of state.

“The right to vote is sacred, and we will do everything in our power to safeguard that right,” said Platkin. “Now more than ever, it is critical that we ensure that New Jerseyans do not face intimidation, discrimination, or harassment when exercising their constitutional right to vote. Our Department’s initiatives to protect the right to vote during this election will ensure that every eligible voter will be able to cast a ballot, and that anyone who attempts to interfere with the voting process will be held accountable to the full extent of the law.”

Last year, the New Jersey Election Protection Coalition released a report about issues voters encountered during the 2020 General Election. Issues included non-receipt of mail-in ballots or the receipt of incomplete mail-in ballots, late openings and long lines at polling places, lack of voting privacy at polling places, and voter intimidation.

New Jersey Assembly members Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, Benjie Wimberly and Linda Carter previously sponsored legislation aimed at protecting voters from intimidation through the use of “poll watchers” and law enforcement officers stationed at state polling sites.

Gov. Phil Murphy also rolled out a series of initiatives to expand access to voting rights last year, signing legislation establishing in-person early voting in New Jersey. The legislation allowed registered voters to vote using machines at polling places before the day of certain primary and general elections.

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