Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon is advising that mail-in ballots are now being mailed, pursuant to the State mandate, to all active registered Monmouth County voters this week. Voters should be on the lookout for the official ballot packets in their mailboxes. Per State law, the Nov. 3 General Election will be conducted primarily by mail-in ballots with all active registered voters in the State of New Jersey automatically receiving mail-ballots for voting.
In Monmouth County, complying with the State mandate involves the printing, preparation, and mailing of more than 450,000 mail-in ballot packets to voters. These ballot packets will be sent to voters who are listed as active and registered in the Statewide Voter Registration System.
“This is the first time in our state’s history that a General Election will be conducted primarily by mail,” said Clerk Hanlon. “During a typical election in Monmouth County, a small percentage of voters have cast their votes by mail-in ballots. This year, due to the recent State mandate regarding universal mailing of ballots to all active registered voters, more than 450,000 ballots are being mailed out, and the vast majority of voters will cast their votes by mail.”
“Preparing almost half a million mail-in ballot packets has been a challenging experience and I am grateful to the hard working employees of the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office and of all three County Election Offices during this unprecedented election process,” said Clerk Hanlon.
“One of the greatest challenges has been issues with the Statewide Voter Registration System and receiving the appropriate updates to the voter files from the State’s vendor, KNOWiNK, LLC. This has left us in an untenable situation because we are mandated by State law to utilize the Statewide Voter Registration System in order to mail the ballots, yet, the State has failed to provide us with up-to-date voter mailing information.”
Given this issue, voters are encouraged to contact the County Clerk’s Office with any issues relating to mail-in ballot delivery. The County Clerk’s Office stands ready to assist voters as expeditiously as possible.
Voters are also encouraged to vote and return their mail-in ballots early. Completed General Election mail-in ballots can be returned to the County Board of Elections via mail, secure drop box, in-person at 300 Halls Mill Road in Freehold, or on Election Day to a polling location. Drop box and polling locations can be found online at MonmouthCountyVotes.com.
If using the U.S. Postal Service, the ballot must be postmarked by Nov. 3. If using one of the County’s secure drop boxes, or hand-delivering to the Board of Elections or at their polling location, the ballot must be delivered by the close of the polls, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m.
Polling locations will be very limited this year, per Governor Murphy’s mandate. There will be at least one polling location in every municipality, but voting machines will only be available for those with disabilities. All other voters who want to vote in person at polling places will have to vote on paper, per State mandate. Those paper ballots, known as provisional ballots, will be counted after all mail-in ballots are counted.
Voters with questions should contact the County Clerk’s Election Office during normal business hours, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by phone to 732-431-7790 or email to ClerkofElections@co.monmouth.nj.us.
For more information regarding the General Election, please visit MonmouthCountyVotes.com or download the free Monmouth County Votes mobile app.