RED BANK, NJ: Last month, Governor Murphy signed a new law regarding mail-in ballots for the state of New Jersey.  This law essentially requires anyone who requested a mail-in ballot in the past two years to continue to vote that way in future elections, unless they take the initiative to “opt out” by contacting their County Clerk of Elections.

Barbara Chaudhery, President of the League of Women Voters of Greater Red Bank, adds, “The deadline to contact the clerk is September 20, so those voters wishing to change their voting status from mail-in to voting in person must act immediately.”

Voters who applied for a vote by mail ballot for the General Election in 2016, or for any election in 2017, and/or 2018 will automatically receive a vote by mail ballot for the upcoming November 2019 General Election. This includes any voters who previously submitted an “opt out” request. It also includes voters who requested a mail-in ballot for an election in 2018 and specified they wanted the mail-in ballot for only that one election.

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Voters may opt out of receiving vote by mail ballots by alerting their county clerk in writing by Friday, September 20. Monmouth County voters can find the opt-out form on the Monmouth County Clerk’s website www.monmouthcountyvotes.com

Monmouth County Voters that are unsure of their vote by mail ballot status should contact the County Clerk at 732-431-7790.

Some voters might want to verify where their ballot is scheduled to be sent. For example, if a voter was away at school or previously had a ballot sent somewhere other than their home mailing address, they should call their county clerk to clarify their address.  

Voters that receive vote by mail ballots have the right to either vote using that mail-in ballot or vote using a provisional ballot at their polling place. They will not be allowed to vote on the voting machine. Provisional ballots are paper ballots that are counted after a voter’s eligibility is verified. In the case of voters who received a mail-in ballot, their provisional ballots will be counted once it is verified that they did not cast a vote using the mail-in ballot. 

If a voter is not scheduled to receive an automatic vote by mail ballot, but desires one for the November General Election, they must apply. The application deadline to receive a vote by mail ballot through the mail is October 29, 2019. The county clerk must receive the application by that date. Voters can also apply in person at their county clerk’s office until 3 pm, November 4, 2019. 

Vote by mail ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Election Day and received by the County Board of Elections no later than 48 hours after the close of polls. Ballots returned in person must be received by the close of polls on Election Day.

 “Every registered voter should participate in the November 5th General Election,” said Barbara Chaudhery. “Whether you cast your ballot by mail or in person at the polls, remember your vote is vital. If anyone needs any clarification on your options for casting a ballot, please contact us at 1-800-792-VOTE (8683).”

For additional information please visit www.lwvnj.org or call the League’s toll free voter information hotline, 1-800-792-VOTE (8683). From now through the close of polls on Election Day, the League of Women Voters will be running that hotline to answer any questions or assist with any problems voters might have.