UNION COUNTY, NJ - College students and others who plan to be out of state in November are being encouraged by the County Clerk to apply now for a vote-by-mail ballot.

“Exercising the right to vote is always important, and in this election cycle New Jersey voters will decide on a new Governor for the first time in eight years,” said Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi in a statement. “Make sure your vote is counted by applying for a Vote-by-Mail ballot now.”

"The best way to ensure that registered voters receive vote-by-mail ballots on time is to apply for it now, before leaving school, since mail being sent out of state can sometimes be delayed," Rajoppi explained in a release.

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Vote-by-mail ballots are available to any registered voter in the state for any reason -- not just for students going out of state. Voters who apply for a vote-by-mail ballot now will receive it around late September after their application is approved and ballots are printed.

Application forms for vote-by-mail ballots are available on Union County Elections website. Registered voters can also call the County Clerk’s Office at 908-527-4996 to request an application by mail, and then pick one up in-person at the main or annex office.

The County Clerk’s main office is located in the Union County Courthouse at 2 Broad St. in Elizabeth. The Annex Office is located in the Colleen Fraser Building at 300 North Ave. East in Westfield.

Election Day 2017 is Tuesday, November 7. The County Clerk provides postage free of charge for voters who are mailing their ballots from outside of New Jersey.

For more more information, visit unioncountyvotes.com or call the County Clerk Elections Division at 908-527-4996.

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