WEST ORANGE, NJ — It is no surprise that the coronavirus pandemic is changing the way we do everyday things. This year, the way West Orange residents vote will also be different because of the emphasis on voting by mail, but it does not have to be inconvenient. 

Here's how voting will take place this year:

Mail-in ballots, otherwise known as an absentee ballot, are currently being distributed to all active registered voters in New Jersey, but despite its name, mail is not the only option when ensuring that votes gets counted. 

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Voters may choose to drop their ballot in a dropbox located at the municipal building at 66 Main St. or another located at the parking garage of the Essex County South Mountain Reservation at 560 Northfield Ave. 

According to West Orange Township Clerk Karen Carnevale, the dropboxes will have cameras and will be bolted down for security.

Voters may also hand their ballot in person to the County Board of Elections office at 465 Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard., Newark or wait until election day on Nov. 3 to drop off a ballot at their designated polling location between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. When handing in a ballot at a polling location, voters can only hand in their own ballot.  

Not all polling places will be open this year, but voters will also have the option to vote in person using only provisional paper ballots instead of machines. People with disabilities, however, will have access to machines. Carnevale added that West Orange Health Officer Theresa De Nova is currently working to accommodate the township’s senior population so that they can safely vote.

If voting by mail, all ballots need to be postmarked by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. Ballots that are postmarked on or before election day must be received by the Board of Elections no later than Nov. 10. 

For more information, email the township clerk at clerk@westorange.org or call 973-325-4155. If any registered voter has not received a mail in ballot by Oct. 13 please email the county clerk at info@essexclerk.com.