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How have elections moved or changed in New Jersey because of COVID-19?
Note: Under Executive Order No. 198, the deadline by which counties must certify the results of the election has been extended from Friday, November 20, to Wednesday, November 25 for counties unable to meet the initial deadline because COVID-19 has had a significant impact on their boards of election staff and facilities, with only Ocean and Salem counties being eligible. The EO also extends, for all counties, the date by which statutorily-required election audits must occur, from Friday, December 4 until Friday, December 11.
The November 3rd General Election was primarily held through vote-by-mail. All active registered New Jersey voters automatically received a prepaid return-postage vote-by-mail ballot from their County Clerks.
Voters could choose to return their ballot:
- by mail, postmarked on or before November 3 and received by your county's Board of Elections on or before November 10
- through a secure drop box in your county by 8 pm on November 3
- to your county's Board of Elections Office by 8 pm on November 3
- at your polling place by 8 pm on November 3
Voters could also vote in-person at a polling location on November 3, but only by paper provisional ballot.
To track your mail-in ballot, visit the New Jersey Voter Registration System online and create an account if you don't already have one. You can also call your County Election Officials to track your mail-in ballot.
All ballots returned through the US Postal Service must carry a postmark by November 3rd, and be received by the County Clerk no later than 8 p.m. Tuesday, November 10th.
Ballots which lack postmarks due to postal error received by 8 p.m. Thursday, November 5th will also be considered valid.
Secure Ballot Dropboxes
County boards of election will also establish ballot drop boxes in each county at least 45 days before election. Boxes are open 24 hours a day, monitored by security cameras, and collected daily by county election officials.
Any voter who chooses to cast their vote in-person will do so on a provisional ballot.
Individuals with disabilities will have access to an ADA-conforming voting machine. Each municipality will be required to open at least one in-person polling site, and all counties must ensure that at least 50 percent of their total polling places are open.
Find your polling location here.
For more information, visit the New Jersey Division of Elections.
The deadline to register to vote was Tuesday, October 13th.
Voting Resources For Individuals With Disabilities
In addition, DRNJ is operating a voter hotline that can be reached by calling 866-493-0023 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The hotline is open during regular business hours, and on Election Day from 7AM to 8PM.
Petitions For Initiatives And Referendums
Governor Murphy announced an executive order allowing petitions seeking to place municipal or county initiatives or referendums on the ballot to be signed electronically and for county and municipal clerks to accept these petitions electronically.
No one should be going door-to-door, either campaigning or collecting signatures, and we should ensure that initiative and referendum campaigns can proceed in a way consistent with public health. For more information, visit the New Jersey Division of Elections.
Municipal and County Reorganizational Meetings
The statutory requirement that municipal and county political parties hold their reorganizational meetings either July 13 or July 14 was suspended to allow newly elected and re-elected party committee members to be properly seated. Instead, municipal party committee meetings were required to be held on July 27th, and county party committee meetings were to be held on July 28th.
Perth Amboy Runoff Election
Under Executive Order No. 193 the date of the Perth Amboy runoff election has been moved to Tuesday, December 15th -- if a runoff is necessary.
All active registered voters in Perth Amboy will receive a vote-by-mail ballot which can be returned either via the mail or a secure drop-box located within the City. Voters will have the option to vote in-person on December 15th and cast a paper provisional ballot.
Source: https://nj.gov/state/elections/candidate-information.shtml; Executive Order No. 120; Executive Order No. 132; Executive Order No. 144; Executive Order No. 164; Executive Order No. 169; Executive Order No. 177; Executive Order No. 193