UNION COUNTY, NJ - While ballots continue to be tabulated after the November 5 General Election, Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi reminds residents that all Vote-by-Mail ballots and Provisional ballots are included in the official, certified election results.

“Some voters have been led to believe that Vote-by-Mail and Provisional ballots are only counted in close elections, and that is entirely false,” said Rajoppi.  “I would like to assure all voters that every vote goes into the final count, whether it is a Vote-by-Mail ballot, a Provisional ballot, or the votes collected from voting machines at the polling place."

A new change in State voting law required that Vote-by-Mail ballots be sent to all voters who voted by mail at least once in a New Jersey election within the last three years.

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Voters who no longer wish to receive Vote-by-Mail ballots in future elections can download an opt out form through the County Clerk’s elections website, by following the instructions in the Vote-By-Mail page at unioncountyvotes.com/vote-by-mail-ballot-application.

“My office contacted nearly 13,000 eligible Union County voters in early September to advise them they would be getting a vote by mail ballot unless they opted out,” Rajoppi explained. “Voters who received a Vote-by-Mail ballot but did not use it were still entitled to come to their polling place and cast a Provisional ballot, although they could not vote on the machines by law.”

Rajoppi also reminded voters that the tallies from voting machines are posted online as “unofficial” results shortly after the polls close on Election Day, pending the addition of the tallies from Vote-by-Mail and Provisional ballots. Machine tallies are also re-checked before election certification.

State law provides for certification of the election results to be made eight days after the election. Vote-by-Mail ballots that are postmarked on Election Day are counted if they are delivered up to two days after Election Day. Provisional ballots are reviewed by the Board of Elections and also counted.