BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ One of Somerset County's five ballot drop boxes is now open 24-hours-per-day, seven days a week in the unlocked lobby of the rear entrance to the town hall at 1 Collyer Lane in Basking Ridge. The box will be open to accept ballots through this year's primary election day on Tuesday, July 7.

Casting ballots will consist mainly of vote-by-mail as precautions to curb the spread of COVID-19, and all registered Republicans or Democrats have received ballots from the Somerset County Clerk's office. Another option is to vote by paper ballot in one of two locations in Bernards Township.

Preferably, the ballots will be mailed, or else can be dropped in any of the five secure ballot drop boxes in the county. Any Somerset County resident can place their ballot in the secure ballot box by 8 p.m. on July 7. The rear entrance lobby is behind the town hall, facing Astor Field.

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The County Clerk’s office already has sent out the vote-by-mail ballots for registered Republican or Democratic voters in the county, including Bernards Township residents.

The ballots are in a large envelope with a bright red stripe proclaiming, “Official Ballot Enclosed," and voters are urged to be on the lookout for these official ballots so they don't throw their votes away. 

The deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot is June 30. The deadline to register to vote for Republican or Democratic candidates in the primary election already has passed.

Polls will be open at only two locations in Bernards Township from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

In-person voting will be available at a limited number of polling places, with 2 being open in Bernards Township. Voting machines will be at those locations only for voters with disabilities who can cast their vote on an ADA accessible voting machine. All other voters at Bernards Township polling sites will cast their vote using a provisional paper ballot, according to Township Clerk Rhonda Pisano. 

Pisano said that local voting districts will be assigned to one of two locations, but voters will be allowed to file their paper ballots if they go to the wrong voting site. 

Voting districts 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 and 17 are assigned to vote by paper ballot at the Bernards Township Community Center, 289 S. Maple Ave. in Basking Ridge.

Voting districts 4,8, 12, 13,14,15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 are assigned to vote at the Fellowship Deaconry building at 3575 Valley Road in Basking Ridge.

For further information, call the Bernards Township Municipal Clerk’s office at 908-204-3001.