NEWARK – In response to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historical Preservation Committee’s vote today to send S2912 – a bill allowing police to be present when voting is occurring at schools and senior centers – to the full Senate for a vote, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and a group of democracy advocates (listed below) issued the following statement.

“Law enforcement and voting do not go together.

“In election after election, people are intimidated by police at the polls, especially Black and Brown voters. This is the last thing we want to do given current threats to our democracy.

“We all care deeply about keeping our children safe. That’s why we need solutions that actually work like gun safety laws – not knee-jerk reactions that make us feel better momentarily but that don’t actually move the ball forward. We should not be pitting a false sense of safety against our democracy.

“Schools concerned about safety during elections can also, if viable, go remote or close for the day, as some already do for certain elections – instead of making already over-policed Black and Brown kids feel less safe from armed officers in their schools.

“We must keep our kids and our democracy safe. This bill is not the way to do either. We urge Senators to reject this bill.”

In January, the legislature wisely passed legislation prohibiting law enforcement from being within 100 feet of polling places but allowing them to respond in emergency situations.

The following advocates sign on to this statement: 


Advancement Project

All of Us or None – South Jersey

American Friends Service Committee Prison Watch

Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey – Social Justice Committee

Education Law Center

Faith in New Jersey

Guazabara Insights

Hannah Walker, Assistant Professor at UT Austin

Ironbound Community Corporation

League of Women Voters of New Jersey

Liza Chowdhury, PhD Assistant Professor BMCC

Make the Road New Jersey

Meet Her at the Gate

NAACP NJ State Conference

New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice

New Jersey Black Issues Convention

New Jersey Institute for Social Justice

New Jersey Prison Justice Watch

New Jersey Working Families

Newark Communities for Accountable Policing

Our Revolution Essex

Our Revolution Trenton Mercer

Prison Justice Watch

Reimagining Justice Inc/Paterson Healing Collective

Returning Citizens Support Group

Salvation & Social Justice

The Gem Project

Transformative Justice Initiative

Unitarian Universalist FaithAction NJ