Christie Acts on Dozens of Bills Sitting on His Desk

TRENTON (AP) -

Faced with an impending deadline Monday, Gov. Chris Christie has opinions on dozens of bills sitting on his desk, including vetoing the Democrat-led Legislature’s bill to reform election law.

Christie, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, nixed the measure which would have allowed for early, in-person voting during a two-week window through the Sunday before Election Day.

The legislation would also have enacted automatic voter registration when residents apply for driver’s licenses and authorized preregistration for 17-year-olds, among others.

Christie called the overhaul “counterproductive” and said it would cost taxpayers $25 million initially. It would also upend early voting, he said.

Democrats cast the measure as a common-sense overhaul of the election system. Experts say the changes could have swelled voter registration rolls to the benefit of Democrats, who are typically not registered to vote.

Christie also vetoed most of the measures in a package of bills aimed at helping Atlantic City, including one that would have established a 15-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes scheme to help stabilize tax payments to the city.

Parents of pupils in kindergarten through second grade also won’t have to worry about preparing their kids for commercially developed standardized tests. Christie signed a bill that would prohibit school districts from contracting with outside organizations to administer them.