New Jersey 101.5’s Michael Symons reports

In a new report, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice identifies what it calls four barriers to “a robust, inclusive democracy” and recommends 11 changes it says can boost voter participation in the state.

They include some major changes, such as: mandatory civics classes in high school and college; requiring paid time off from work to vote; same-day registration on Election Day; lowering the voting age; making the Legislature full-time but increasing the pay; and term limits for local offices.

“Voter apathy, low voter turnout, they’re symptoms of a bigger problem. They’re not actually the cause of an issue,” said Henal Patel, director of the group’s Democracy & Justice Program. “And what it comes down to is that people feel that they’re unrepresented, alienated or cut off or uninformed about a system which is often inaccessible to them.”