NJ Sees Highest Number of Votes Cast in State History

Gov. Phil Murphy said today that when all is said and done, he expects that well over 4 million New Jerseyans will have voted in the 2020 presidential election, a figure that he says will be the highest number of votes cast in any election in state history.

New Jersey passed State Public Question No. 1, which amends the constitution to legalize cannabis use for adults over the age of 21.

Commenting on the measure, Murphy said that, “This is a matter of social justice, racial justice, economic justice and at the end of all that, flat out common sense. I look forward to working with the Legislature to swiftly pass enabling legislation that will set up a regulatory framework for adult use marijuana.”

Murphy added that until enabling legislation is enacted, recreational marijuana remains illegal under state law. However, he added that prosecutors and law enforcement have “very broad discretion” on how to handle low-level marijuana offenses.

In terms of how long it could take for an individual to be able to walk into a store and buy cannabis, Murphy said that it could take up to a year. He added, however, that existing medical dispensaries could possibly expand their operations sooner than that. In order for medical dispensaries to sell to the recreational market, they would need to prove that they have excess capacity that won’t eat into their medical patients supply. 

New Jersey’s Public Question No. 2 also passed, which approved amending the constitution to give a $250 property tax deduction to veterans who didn’t serve in time of war. It also provides a 100% property tax exemption to certain totally disabled veterans who did not serve in time of war.

Murphy said that Public Question No. 2 passed by a nearly 4 to 1 margin.

Coronavirus Numbers Continue to Rise As Winter Looms

Separately, Murphy announced 2,104 new positive COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours. Over the past 3 days alone, the state has recorded 6,408 new cases.

When asked if the state would do something regarding the increase in cases, Murphy said, “How close are we to doing something? Close. So bear with us. We will clearly be taking action,” Murphy said.

In addition, the positivity rate for all tests recorded on Sunday Nov. 1 was 7.74%, which Murphy described simply as “unacceptable.”

With cases expected to continue to rise as the weather gets colder, Murphy urged New Jerseyans to adhere to CDC guidelines with Thanksgiving on the horizon, telling residents to “plan for a smaller dinner with immediate household family only. We do not want Thanksgiving to lead to more cases.”

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