New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) on Tuesday signed legislation that will automatically register people to vote when they apply for a driver’s license or state ID, making his the 13th state to implement such a policy.
Last week, the “motor bill” passed the state Assembly, 50-23, and the state Senate, 24-13.
The new law could register nearly 600,000 people, according to the Center for American Progress, a progressive research group.
“We come at this from the point of view that there should be no barriers to register to vote,” Murphy said Tuesday. “Registering to vote should be simple and seamless.”
“In New Jersey, we recognize our democracy is stronger when more people are given the opportunity to participate and when the residents of our state are empowered to be part of the democratic process,” he said.
Murphy also took aim at President Trump over what he called the administration’s effort to “suppress voter rights.”
“We stand in stark contrast to President Trump and others who’s only interest lay in suppressing voter rights,” he said.
The Hill added:
GOP figures in the state have been critical of the bill, accusing Democrats of trying to “exploit” registration trends that tend to lean Democratic, according to NJ.com.
The New Jersey policy is one of the most wide-reaching programs in the country. It lets state agencies that collect personal data, such as the state welfare department, automatically register people to vote.