Whether you are a conspiracy theorist or not, you could probably think of 1 million ways that the mail in ballot voting in the presidential election could go wrong. I don’t care which side of the aisle you stand on, there are people who won’t even send their wedding invitations through the mail, because they know how unreliable the USPS can be.

Regardless of whose fault that fact may be, if this November‘s election is as tight as some pundits predict, neither side can afford to lose even one precious vote to mishandling of U.S. mail. That’s why it’s very important to understand that even though Gov. Phil Murphy has announced that that polling sites will be open, they will truly only be open for people with disabilities. You will NOT be able to place a machine vote in a polling place as you have in years past. You'll only be able to fill out a paper ballot.

You will only be able to deliver your mail-in ballot, a document of questionable security to begin with, to that polling pace. Additionally, any vote placed on Election Day at a polling location will be considered a “provisional ballot,” which may be tabulated late in the game, sometimes up to two weeks after the election — or, some people speculate, not at all. That’s why it is vitally important for you to hand-deliver your personal ballot to a ballot box designated for that purpose in your town. Most borough/town halls will have them.

Google the information for your town and find out exactly where that ballot receptacle will be placed. That way, you can supervise and protect your precious vote from the moment you fill out the ballot until the moment you drop it into that box. Much less margin of error, much less chance for middlemen to be involved. If you care about your vote — and who doesn’t — don’t take a chance. Place your own vote in your own town’s ballot box.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

Judi's guide to your mail-in ballot

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