TRENTON, N.J. – Democrats’ anti-cop crusade in the Legislature is having real-life and dangerous consequences, say Sen. Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano. The Ocean County lawmakers are planning to introduce legislation that would repeal a law banning law enforcement from polling stations and ballot drop boxes on election days.
When the measure (A4655) to keep cops from polling places came to the Assembly floor last session, Republicans warned of its potential dangers while Democrats claimed it was necessary to prevent voter intimidation.
“The Democrat majority in Trenton used their woke agenda and anti-cop bills to put our students and voters at risk. As I said when the bill was debated, the Democrats have sent a clear signal to terrorists, mass murderers and other criminals that the safest place for them to commit atrocities is at your local polling place,” McGuckin (R-Ocean) said. “The law was ridiculous when it was voted on and is worse yet in practice, especially in the aftermath of the school shooting in Texas and the continued mass shootings across America. It must be repealed immediately.”
Gov. Phil Murphy signed the bill into law on Jan. 18, 2022. In February, Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin directed law enforcement to stay away from polling locations, including public schools, to protect voters from unlawful intimidation. The only exceptions are for police who live within 100 feet of a polling location, when they go to vote themselves, or if they have been requested for a specific emergency, but they must leave once that is addressed.
“This is a dangerous law that allows members of the public to have unobstructed access to our schools and government buildings,” Catalano (R-Ocean) said. “Many towns, like Toms River, rely on using schools as polling places and tomorrow all school resource officers will be removed from the building because there are some people who claim voters don’t feel ‘safe’ in the presence of a cop. Meanwhile, children and voters will be sitting ducks and potentially put in harm’s way.”
Sen. Holzapfel says enforcing the law contradicts the attorney general’s directive calling for increasing police presence in New Jersey schools following the Uvalde, Texas elementary school shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers.
“The Murphy administration calls upon police when it is politically convenient and at the same time admonishes them to fit another narrative. Our law enforcement is here to protect and serve the people of New Jersey, not the whims of far left politicians,” Holzapfel (R-Ocean) said. “We need to keep our officers in school during tomorrow’s primary election, because innocent schoolchildren and teachers must be protected regardless of the Democrats’ eagerness to please progressive activists.”