UNION COUNTY, NJ – Voting just got easier with the new voter-friendly ballots for Vote-by-Mail, machine and sample ballots starting in the 2015 General Election, introduced by Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi.

 The newly redesigned ballots provide voters with more clarity and ease while selecting candidates. 

The new Vote-by-Mail ballot, for example, will closely resemble both the sample ballot mailed to every voter and the official machine ballot used in voting machines. One major change is that the Vote-by-Mail ballot will be printed in the same horizontal or “landscape” orientation as the sample and official ballots. Previously, the Vote-by-Mail ballot was printed in a vertical orientation.

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“I began the process of redesigning the Vote-by-Mail ballot approximately eight months ago to ensure conformity amongst all the election ballots, including the sample ballot and the official machine ballot,” said Rajoppi.

With the new ballot, voters can easily distinguish between the sections for general election candidates and school board candidates. A new blue heading has been added for the School Board Election, providing a clear contrast with the red heading used for the General Election.

“The new ballot is designed so voters can easily see that they have more votes to cast, after they finish voting in the General Election,” said Rajoppi. “As a former school board member, I know how important it is to encourage voter participation in School Board Elections. The new design will help ensure that every voter can quickly understand that there are two separate elections in which to vote.”

The new Vote-by-Mail ballot includes an instruction section in larger typeface than the previous version.

“The vote-by-mail process is relatively simple but the instructions need to be followed carefully,” said Rajoppi. “The larger font will help ensure that persons with visual impairments fill out the ballot correctly and make their vote count.”

To see a sample of the new Vote-by-Mail ballot, visit the County Clerk online at www.ucnj.org/county-clerk.  For voters wishing to vote by mail, the last day to apply by mail for a Vote-by-Mail ballot is Tuesday, October 27, 2015.  A voter may also request a Vote-by-Mail ballot in person at the Union County Clerk’s Office until Monday, November 2, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. The County Clerk’s Office in Elizabeth will have a special Saturday opening on October 31, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The Westfield Office is open Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.