Elections

Letters to the Editor

Yes, All Vote by Mail Ballots Are Counted

5c173c1b0dbc05cf30f1_Union_County_Votes_app.jpg
Credits: Union County Clerk
5c173c1b0dbc05cf30f1_Union_County_Votes_app.jpg

Dear Editor:

 My office, along with the Union County Board of Elections, is responsible for administering elections in Union County, and we encourage voters to use Vote by Mail ballots. They are convenient and secure, and they enable voters to avoid the risk of a mishap that could prevent them from getting to the polls on Election Day.

Unfortunately, misconceptions about the Vote-by-Mail process can discourage some voters from using this option.

Sign Up for E-News

Following are three of the most common myths that my Elections Division has heard from the public:

Myth #1: Vote by Mail ballots are only counted if an election is close.

FALSE. By law, Vote by Mail ballots are always counted. They are counted on Election Day, just like in-person votes at polling places.

After the polls close on Election Day, the Vote by Mail ballots are tallied. The total is added to the numbers from each polling place the next day, and posted to the County Clerk’s website.

Myth #2: Vote by Mail ballots are not private.

FALSE. Your personal identification – name, address or any other information – never goes on a Vote by Mail ballot. Vote by Mail users place their ballot in a special envelope that includes a detachable outer certificate for their name, address and signature. The envelope is not opened by the Board of Elections until after the certificate is detached. Once detached, the certificate cannot be matched to the voter’s ballot.

This method serves two important purposes. First, it ensures every voter that the privacy of their vote is protected. Second, the certificate provides a record that the voter used a Vote by Mail Ballot. In this regard it is similar to the poll books kept at polling places, where the voter’s signature provides a record that a vote was cast in person.

Myth #3: If a voter requests a Vote by Mail ballot and doesn’t use it, they cannot vote in person.

FALSE. A voter who requested a Vote by Mail ballot and did not use it can still go to their polling place on Election Day. Poll workers can confirm if the voter requested a Vote by Mail ballot by looking at the code next to their name (typically this will be “VBM” for Vote by Mail, or “A” for absentee).

If their request is confirmed, the voter cannot use the voting machine. However, they can request a provisional ballot and cast it at the polling place.

Every provisional ballot is reviewed by the Board of Elections. The review process ensures that each ballot has been cast by a registered voter. It also provides an assurance that voters using a Vote by Mail ballot do not also vote at their polling place.

The review process begins the day after Election Day and concludes within seven days.

At the end of the review period, all of the provisional ballots certified by the Board of Elections are tallied and reported to my office. I add these numbers to the Vote by Mail and polling place numbers, and I report the grand total to the public as the official, certified results of the election.

In other words, regardless of how the vote is cast – in person, by mail, or on a provisional ballot by a registered voter – every vote is counted.

Voters with questions about Vote by Mail or any other election procedures can call the Elections Division at 908-527-4996 for assistance.

Elections information is also available online at our new website,UnionCountyVotes.com and on the free mobile app, Union County Votes.

Joanne Rajoppi

Union County Clerk

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

NJ Flags to Fly at Half-Staff for Jerry Green May 7

April 24, 2018

TRENTON, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy issued an executive order on Monday for New Jersey flags to be flown at half-staff at all state buildings and facilities on the day of the upcoming General Assembly session, scheduled for May 7, in memory of Assemblyman Jerry Green, former chair of the Union County Democratic Committee, who died last week.

On Thursday, Governor Murphy had said, ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update, April 24

April 25, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

It has been quite a busy few weeks!

I would first like to congratulate the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce on their 70th anniversary. Councilwoman Mackey and I celebrated this milestone at their gala last week where we watched Executive Director Gene ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_26bff2b330d314777eae_library

Wed, April 25, 10:00 AM

Westfield Memorial Library, Westfield

Westfield Memorial Library Spring Book Sale

Arts & Entertainment

Wed, April 25, 12:00 PM

Temple Emanu-El, Westfield

Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Kroloff

Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_0d1e344b249d6f43f819_spring_2018_film_fest_

Wed, April 25, 7:30 PM

Rialto NewVision Theater, Westfield

Jewish Film Festival of Central NJ - Ben Gurion: ...

Arts & Entertainment

Westfield Police Blotter: Residence Burglarized & More

April 18, 2018

April 11, 2018 10:23 a.m.

Raymond Rodgers, 56, of Westfield, NJ was arrested in the area of E. Broad Street. Rodgers was arrested pursuant to an unrelated traffic investigation. Rogers was transported to Westfield Police HQ without incident. At WPD HQ, Rodgers was processed and released after posting the full bail amount ($250). Rodgers was arrested on the strength of an outstanding Westfield ...

Learning to Fly Drones at Lamberts Mill Academy

April 24, 2018

Thanks to a very generous donation from the Columbia Bank Foundation the students at Lamberts Mill Academy are learning how to build, program and fly drones. This innovative program will ensure that students gain skills needed for 21st Century employment. 

 

Lamberts Mill Academy, located in Westfield, New Jersey, is part of the Union County Educational Services Commission.

Ways to Increase Your Home's Equity

Sometimes you forget and don’t realize your home provides so much to your life. It brings along with it your dreams of the future, shelter to you and your family, a way to provide a better lifestyle, a better commute, a neighborhood, schools, community involvement and recreational facilities. But it also provides a way to save for the future. It does this by allowing you to build your ...

Westfield Public Schools Welcomes Community to Auditorium Open Houses

Two years ago, voters in Westfield approved a bond referendum to renovate the aging auditoriums in Edison and Roosevelt Intermediate Schools. Major aspects of the renovations include new seating and flooring, electrical and lighting upgrades, state-of-the-art sound systems, acoustical treatments and air conditioning.

On April 11 and 12, students, staff, families and other members of the ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Hellenic Therapy Center

April 13, 2018

Dropping Off Our Kids At College – Learning How To Adjust

Hellenic Therapy Center

 

Whether your kid is a freshman entering college for the first time or returning back to college, there are so many emotions we experience as parents.  There are differences in a parent’s reaction to the departure of a first child, an only child or even the last child.  Feelings ...

Obituaries

Oct 21, 1944 - Apr 14, 2018
Kathleen A. Hertell passed away peacefully with family at her bedside on April 14, 2018. Loving ...
Read more

‘A Sad Day for Paterson’ as Police Officer Loses Life in Car Crash

April 23, 2018

PATERSON, NJ — On what Paterson Superior Officers Association President Mason Maher called “a sad day for Paterson,” a city police officer lost his life on Sunday after he was involved in a motor vehicle collision while on duty.

Several sources familiar with Sunday’s tragic accident have identified the fallen officer as Tamby Yagan, a 13-year veteran of the ...