BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ In a completely unique primary election this year, voters have multiple options for filing their votes through primary election day on Tuesday, July 7. Hours for the election officially are from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

One of Somerset County's five ballot drop boxes is 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 8 p.m. on primary election day.

The process of casting ballots this year was expected to take place mainly through vote-by-mail as precaution to curb the spread of COVID-19. All registered Republicans or Democrats have received ballots from the Somerset County Clerk's office.

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Ballots delivered by mail must be postmarked on election day by the latest, and be received by the Somerset County Board of Elections no later than July 14.

Another option is to vote by paper ballot on Tuesday in one of two locations in Bernards Township.

Any Somerset County resident can place their ballot in the secure ballot box in the rear entrance lobby is behind Bernards Township town hall, facing Astor Field. A list of all of Somerset County's secure ballot boxes is online.

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. 

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.

Unaffiliated voters can still sign up to vote in one party at County Clerk tent on Tuesday

Any eligible voter who has not cast a ballot in this primary election can still on Tuesday go to a tent outside the Somerset County Administration Building at 20 Grove Street in Somerville during office hours to request and obtain a ballot.The tent will be open on Tuesday, July 7 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. when the polls close.

Any registered voter who has not already sent in a ballot can come to the tent and apply for, then receive a ballot, according to the county. Unaffiliated voters can participate in either primary by declaring membership in a party, and voters who have misplaced or damaged the ballot mailed to their homes are also eligible to get a replacement ballot.

After receiving their ballot at the tent, voters can immediately cast their vote by filling out the ballot, following the directions for sealing the certificate and mailing envelope, and either mailing the ballot or placing it in the secure ballot drop box in front of the Administration Building. Ballots that are postmarked by July 7, and are received within one week will be considered valid.