January: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

When We All Vote
3 min readFeb 5, 2024

Welcome back to “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly,” your go-to source for the latest voting news and what lies ahead. In today’s edition, we’ll cover how New Jersey’s Governor signed the New Voter Empowerment Act allowing 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections, dive into why a federal judge upheld a restrictive voting law in Ohio, and share why some election officials have withdrawn from a nonpartisan group that manages voter rolls.

So, buckle up and join us as we navigate the world of voting — where The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly all meet. 😉


In good news, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the “New Voter Empowerment Act.” This bill permits 17-year-olds who turn 18 by the next general election to vote in the New Jersey primaries. Under the current law, voters who are 17 can register to vote if they are 18 by the time of elections — but they remain temporarily ineligible in the Statewide Voter Registration System.

The new legislation will go into effect January 1, 2026.


In bad news, this week, a federal judge upheld Ohio’s 2023 voter suppression law, H.B. 458, finding that the bill’s restrictions on in-person and absentee voting do not violate the U.S. Constitution. The judge held that the current provisions are constitutional and do not pose a burden on one’s right to vote, as the lawsuit alleged. Some of the laws that have gotten great attention are:

  • Almost all voters must present a photo ID in order to cast their ballots
  • Mail-in ballots are required to arrive by the fourth day after Election Day instead of the 10th day after Election Day.
  • Officials are prohibited from prepaying postage on mail-in ballots and mail-in ballot applications.
  • Voters currently have a reduced amount of time to correct mistakes on their mail-in ballots or ensure their provisional ballots are counted.
  • Finally, H.B. 458 eliminates in-person early voting on the Monday before Election Day. Instead, the law requires the six hours previously available on this day to be allocated to days of the preceding week.

As of January 8th, Ohio’s voter suppression law remains in effect.


In ugly news, since 2022, nine states have withdrawn from a nonpartisan group that manages voter rolls through interstate data exchange. Amidst pressure from the unfounded election denial movement, namely in Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia, this departure has compromised the accuracy of voter rolls, which makes it harder to detect the small number of people who improperly vote in multiple states. As of 2024, some of these officials are now using taxpayer dollars to recreate the tools the abandoned system once provided.

It may be a new year, but it’s the same us. As we head into the upcoming presidential election (yes, that is this year!), we want to ensure you continue to understand the importance of YOUR voice. The best way to do that is by staying engaged, informed, and mobilized.

We’ll return soon with more important voting news and updates.



When We All Vote

We’re shaping the promise of our democracy through voter registration and participation. Because #WhenWeAllVote, we can change the world. WhenWeAllVote.org