Governor: New Jersey election will be done mostly by mail

New Jersey. Voters who want to cast their ballot in person will have to go to one of a reduced number of polling places and cast a ballot that will be counted only after officials determine the voter didn’t mail in a ballot.

16 Aug 2020 | 11:20

(AP) New Jersey will move to a nearly all-mail election this November, following the model the state used in its July primary, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said on Aug. 14.

Murphy, a Democrat, said during an interview with CNN that all voters would get a ballot, but it’s not clear if people who aren’t registered will get an application to register.

“It doesn’t matter what party you’re in, everybody gets a ballot,’’ Murphy said.

The nearly all-mail election in July stemmed from the coronavirus outbreak. The development comes just a day after Republican President Donald Trump acknowledged that he’s starving the United States Postal Service of cash to make it harder to process millions of mailed-in ballots.

Saying that the general election will mirror the July primary, Murphy indicated that the only in-person voting will be with provisional ballots. That means if voters want to cast their ballot in person, they’ll have to go to one of a reduced number of polling places and cast a ballot that will be counted only after officials determine the voter didn’t mail in a ballot. In July, each county had to keep at least 50% of its polling places open for in-person provisional voting.

If the July 7 primary model is used, voters will be able to mail back their ballots to county boards of elections, deliver them there in person or use drop boxes that are scattered across the county. Most counties had at least five drop boxes in July.

The state Republican Party petitioned the U.S. attorney in New Jersey to install election monitors over concerns of “disenfranchisement.”

Sussex County Freeholders oppose exclusive vote by mail
The Sussex County Freeholders voted unanimously on Aug. 12 against the exclusive use of mail-in ballots during the November general election. Deputy Director Dawn Fantasia read the resolution into the record, which referred to the exclusive use of mail-in ballots during the July 2020 primary as an “experiment.” They expressed concern about voter fraud, significant delays in knowing the outcome, and the taxpayer burden.The resolution pointed out that in the pre-pandemic times, vote-by-mail was already an option to voters who could not vote in person, for any reason. The Freeholders said there were significant problems with a small segment during the primary that would likely be magnified with a larger voter turnout during the general election.The resolution said voter choice “should refer to how to vote, not just who to vote for in a given election cycle.”