With election just weeks away, NJ begins voter education campaign
One of the first campaigns of the 2020 general election isn’t for a candidate or a position on a ballot referendum.
The state itself is promoting messages around the changes to the election process implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The online home for the New Jersey Votes educational campaign is vote.nj.gov, part of a multimedia campaign that will run in multiple languages.
“What we want to ensure is that every New Jerseyan is well-informed and feels comfortable about the voting process,” said Secretary of State Tahesha Way.
“It of course is here for the New Jersey voters to help them answer any pertinent questions for this upcoming Nov. 3 election such as how do I register to vote, voting by mail, tracking my ballot, finding a secure ballot drop box, voting in person and more,” she said.
The page includes a link for registering to vote, which can now be done online. More than 200,000 people have registered online since the program went into effect earlier this month.
Every active registered voter in New Jersey is receiving a ballot through the mail this year. As of last week, according to the U.S. Elections Project, the state was reporting that 12,429 ballots had already been returned.
Counties are in the process of mailing ballots to all active registered voters now. Some started two weeks ago. Secretary of State Tahesha Way says they all have to be mailed out by Oct. 5.
“If you have not received your ballot mid-October, what you should do is contact your local county clerk office,” Way said.
Voters can cast ballots through the mail, by dropping it off at one of their county’s secure drop boxes or by delivering it in person to their county board of elections. They can also deliver it to their polling place on Nov. 3 or vote that day on a provisional paper ballot.
“We’re asking voters don’t delay,” Way said. “If you know who you’re voting for, how to respond to your ballot questions, put it in the mail if that’s your choice. Don’t delay.”
Votes sent through the mail that are postmarked by Nov. 3 will be counted if the arrive by Nov. 10. If the post office doesn’t postmark them – which sometimes happens because of the prepaid postage – they’ll count if they arrive by Thursday, Nov. 5.
Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.