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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Democratic bill would transfer election oversight

Under legislation released from the Assembly's Law and Public Safety Committee last week control of the Department of Elections would be tranferred back to the Department of State , reversing a move under Gov. Christine Todd Whitman that put the department in its current place, under the Department of Law and Public Safety.

Democrats heralded the bill as one bringing more clarity and transparency to elections, through moving the regulation and enforcement of election rules away from the department that also administers state elections.

They say it should bring more untainted oversight to the state's electoral process.

"This is a common sense move that is long overdue," said Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin, D-Essex, who sponsored the bill. "It will allow us to reestablish a seperation of powers that should exist between the administrators of elections and people responsible for oversight of elections."

Under the legislation the Secretary of State would replace the Attorney General as New Jersey's chief designated electoral official. The Department of State would also become responsible for all personnel, budget, and fiscal matters for the Division of Elections.

It will be up to Assembly leadership now for a decision on when to hold a floor vote for the potential passage of the bill.

1 comment:

Old Mill Hill said...

So, is this really a good idea?

Taking the election enforcement from the AG...a sworn officer of the court with (presumably) a track record and giving it to an appointee with no requisite legal background leaves me a little cold.