NJ voter’s guide to handling problems on Election Day
New Jersey election officials say they’re ready for the election on Tuesday and are prepared to deal with any possible irregularities or problems that may pop up.
“Our county election officials have done a phenomenal job getting the polling places ready, getting the vote-by-mail ballots out, so I would say New Jersey is in very good shape,” said Bob Giles, the director of the state Division of Elections.
He said if you go out to vote Tuesday and your name does not appear in the poll book, “the poll worker will ask your address to make sure you are in the correct polling place. If you are in the wrong polling place, they will give you information as to where to go.”
If it turns out you’re in the right place but for some reason you’re not listed, you will be given a provisional ballot to fill out. After the election, the county Board of Elections will verify whether you're a registered voter and count the ballot if you are.
If you want to check to make sure everything is in order before heading to the polls, you can do that online at the Division of Elections website, which tells you whether you're registered and where your polling place is.
Once you arrive at the polls, keep a couple of things in mind:
Electioneering and campaigning is not allowed within 100 feet of the entrance to the polling place.
If voters notice anything odd or suspicious, they can notify poll workers or reach out to their county's Board of Elections.
Here's a list of county election officials and telephone numbers.
“They will send someone out to investigate the situation and correct it if in fact something is going on," he said.
If you become confused about how to cast your ballot, you need to speak up.
“There will be written instructions outside the voting machines, but if they have any questions they can ask the board workers,” said Giles.
If you push the button to cast your ballot and the thing gets stuck or won’t register, “you’ll let the poll worker know, they will notify the county Board of Elections and, if need be, someone will come out and look at it."
Giles says he expect things to go smoothly on Tuesday.
“Our county election officials are among the best in the country and they do a phenomenal job preparing. They try to prepare for every contingency, and if something does happen tomorrow I believe they’ll be ready to quickly react and take care of the situation,” he said.
He recommends voters head to the polls during the late morning or mid afternoon hours if possible to avoid early or late lines because many people cast their ballots before heading to work or on their way home.
Polls will be open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
A news release from the state Attorney General’s Office indicates there will be 350 deputy attorneys general assigned throughout the Garden State on Election Day:
The officials will be stationed in all 21 counties "to handle any court applications, and to provide timely legal advice to county superintendents of election and boards of election on emergent, voting-related matters."
"The purpose ... is to ensure the integrity of our election processes by protecting peoples’ right to vote, and by promptly — and fairly — resolving any voting-related legal issues that may arise," the Attorney General's Office said.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.