UNION COUNTY, NJ — The county's board of elections could be tallying ballots until Nov. 18 – 19, officials said.
Discussion of the extended time for counting ballots comes as the county grapples with vote-by-mail procedures.
Mail in ballots postmarked by election day will be accepted through Nov. 10, compensating for potential delays in the postal service, Nicole DiRado, administrator for the Union County Board of Elections, told the freeholder board on Thursday. The board of elections will reconcile those ballots with provisional ballots — paper ballots filled out at in-person polling stations — to ensure nobody votes twice, DiRado said. Statewide, provisional ballots would be counted on Nov. 11, the earliest, she said.
Then cure letters, which allow voters to “cure” issues with ballots like matching signatures to ensure they are counted, will be due back within 48 hours of certification, DiRado said.
“Results should not be expected for quite some time,” DiRado said.
She expects the county will receive upwards of 200,000 mail-in ballots. The county has received 22,588 ballots so far, and first started receiving ballots on Sept. 16, DiRado said.
The county had previously outlined a series of vote-by-mail procedures, available until the polls close at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3. They are as follows:
Send your ballot to the Union County Board of Elections by U.S. Postal Service (postage is prepaid).
Drop off your ballot in any Union County Board of Elections secure ballot drop-off box, located in all 21 municipalities. Any Union County voter can use any drop-off box in Union County, regardless of their residence. The boxes are available on a 24/7 basis until 8 p.m. Nov. 3. Click here for a list of the ballot drop-off spots.
Hand deliver your ballot to the Union County Board of Elections or County Clerk’s offices. These offices will be open for ballot delivery until 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. Please note that hand delivery requires voters to present New Jersey identification and sign a register.
Designate a ballot bearer to deposit it in a drop-off box, or hand deliver it to the Board of Elections or County Clerk’s offices (instructions are printed on the ballot).
Walk your ballot into a polling place. On Election Day voters can bring their vote-by-mail ballot to their designated polling place. Click here for a list of polling places in Union County.
Fill out a paper ballot at a polling place on Election Day. Voters who come to their polling place without a vote-by-mail ballot will be provided with a provisional paper ballot to use. Handicapped-accessible voting machines are available only for voters with disabilities.
For more on early voting methods, including the locations of offices and ballot drop-off boxes, visit the “Early Voting” page on the County Clerk’s elections website, UnionCountyVotes.com.
To track the status of your vote-by-mail ballot, use the New Jersey Division of Elections Ballot Tracker tool. Click here for a step-by-step video on how to use a vote-by-mail ballot.
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