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November 4 Court Date for Constitutional Rights Clinic Lawsuit Seeking Election Day Voter Registration

October 29, 2013 – 

A Superior Court Judge in New Brunswick will hear argument at 10 am on Monday, November 4, 2013 on the constitutionality of New Jersey’s 21-day advance voter-registration requirement.

The lawsuit, Rutgers University Student Assembly v. Middlesex County Board of Elections, has been brought by the Rutgers School of Law–Newark Constitutional Rights Clinic, the New Jersey Appleseed Public Interest Law Center, and the New Jersey Civil Liberties Union. The hearing Monday before Judge Heidi Currier concerns a motion by the Plaintiffs for Summary Judgment and a motion by the Defendants, represented by the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General, to dismiss the case.

The suit argues that in light of modern technology, New Jersey cannot justify its prohibition against voters who try to register less than 21 days before an election. Election day registration, which is already the law in 10 states and the District of Columbia,  would provide recourse against burdensome factors often outside of voters’ control that currently rob many thousands of New Jerseyans of their right to vote in elections, according to Plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs argue that New Jersey’s computerized Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS) now makes advance registration an unnecessary and undue burden on the right to vote guaranteed by the State Constitution.

In addition to the Rutgers Student Assembly, other plaintiffs in the suit are the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, New Jersey Citizen Action, and half a dozen present and former Rutgers students who were denied the right to vote in recent elections despite having registered more than 21 days in advance of the election when their registrations were not properly processed.

For more information, contact Professor Frank Askin, Director of the Constitutional Rights Clinic, at 973-353-3239.