In 1844, New Jersey denied the vote to people with criminal convictions – the same year it restricted the vote to white men in its Constitution.
This undemocratic prohibition directly tied the racially biased criminal justice system to the sacred franchise.
Two years ago, the Institute and its partners said enough, and launched the 1844 No More campaign.
In December 2019 — as a result of the collective advocacy of that campaign — Governor Murphy signed into law voting rights restoration for 83,000 people on probation and parole in New Jersey. That’s almost the size of the population of our capital city of Trenton!
One of those 83,000 was the Institute’s own Democracy & Justice Fellow, Ron Pierce — a friend, husband, and veteran whose voice was silenced for 34 years.
On March 17, 2020, the new law took effect.
Watch the video below to see Ron and others talk about how it felt to get their voices back and be able to vote, some for the first time.
Visit the I Got My Voice Back campaign to hear from people about having their own votes restored.
Read our Report – 1844 No More: Let Us Vote
Read our Report – Value to the Soul: People With Criminal Convictions on the Power of the Vote
Over 100 organizations have signed on to support full voting rights restoration.
For a voter registration form, please click here or visit the New Jersey Secretary of State’s site for county registration forms and registration forms in various languages: