FREEHOLD, NJ — Voters who mailed in their ballots for the 2017 and/or 2018 general elections are being sent vote-by-mail ballots for this year. And unless they have already officially opted out to vote by mail, that means they will not be able to cast their votes at polling places for the November 5 general election.

In August, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law that has again changed the vote-by-mail rules in New Jersey, effective immediately, according to Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon, adding that the change affects more than 13,000 voters in the county.

These voters who do not wish to receive mail-in ballots moving forward must notify the county clerk in writing to opt out — a deadline that has passed for this upcoming election.

Sign Up for Belmar/Lake Como Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

According to state law, any voter who has not opted out and receives a mail-in ballot will not be permitted to vote on a voting machine on Election Day. These voters will be limited to voting the mail-in ballot they receive or a paper provisional ballot at the polls on Election Day.

Mail-in ballots for the 2019 general election began being sent to voters on September 21. The vote by-mail application is available at and on the Monmouth County Votes Mobile App.

Early voting is also available in-person at the Monmouth County Election Offices, 300 Halls Mill Road in Freehold. The voter registration form is also available at

If you have any questions about the vote by mail process or questions about the new law, contact the County Clerk’s Elections Division by calling 732-431-7790 or emailing

TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, it is the official electronic newspaper of both municipalities. As a locally owned news organization, TAPinto through its advertisers is able to publish online, objective news 24/7 at no charge. Sign up for its free daily e-News, and follow it on Facebook and Twitter.

Download the free TAPinto App! Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.