Tuesday, January 15, 2008

NJ Governor Signs Landmark Election Protection Legislation

On Jan. 15, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine signed S507 into law.

[Note: the text of the law is now available here (PDF)]

I've already written enough about the significance of this bill, what it means to election integrity in the Garden State and the nation, and why it's now the first Law in the nation to seriously address the electronic-vote-counting problem.

What I've not said yet is how appropriate it is for this bill to become law on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday -- not the one that's observed by having a 3-day weekend -- but the actual day, Tuesday, January 15th, 2008, when he would have been 79 years old.

I don't know if this was intentional on the Governor's part. I was not at the bill signing, but it would not surprise me. I do know from having had the privilege of working with Senator Nia Gill, the bill's sponsor who did everything in her power to ensure its passage without any unnecessary compromises, that voting rights and vote-counting rights are inseparably intertwined, as well they should be.

Will this law solve every potential problem with our elections, even if it's copied in all 50 States? Even if Congress begins to take the e-vote-counting problem seriously? No. We know it won't, and some have been all too quick to point this out. It just happens to be a giant step in the right direction, and the people of New Jersey should be proud to have taken it.

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