- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation Tuesday making New Jersey the latest state with automatic voter registration at motor-vehicle agencies, after former Republican Gov. Chris Christie rejected earlier versions.

“We stand in stark contrast to President Trump and others whose only interest lays in restricting voting rights and suppressing voters’ voices,” Mr. Murphy said before signing the bill in Trenton. “Registering to vote should be simple and seamless.”

With midterm elections looming, New Jersey is the third state this year to adopt automatic voter registration. Some liberal groups estimate the move will add 600,000 voters to the state’s voter rolls.

The new law will automatically register people to vote when they apply for a driver’s license or non-driver ID card. The measure even allows any state agency that collects documents and personal data to “establish a procedure to automatically register people to vote.”

State Republican Party Chairman Doug Steinhardt said the legislation’s sponsors had “questionable motives.”

“Democrats are looking to exploit what they see as favorable registration trends and using taxpayer funded dollars and institutions to do it,” Mr. Steinhardt said.

Mr. Christie, an ally of Mr. Trump, vetoed versions in 2016 and 2015. He said the Democratic-controlled legislature was trying to boost Democratic registration.

The legislation was sponsored by Democrats. Republicans said it will pave the way to voter fraud, including a greater likelihood of allowing illegal immigrants to vote.

New Jersey has 2.37 million unaffiliated voters, 2.13 million Democrats and 1.24 million registered Republican voters.

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