Vote By Mail is convenient and cheap. It is an under-utilized resource here in New Jersey. We simply do not know much about it and we are creatures of habit who are used to waiting until that Tuesday in November to go and vote in the voting booth. But there is a better way!
Your Mailbox is Your Ballot Box!
What is Vote By Mail in New Jersey?
It is an option readily available to all registered voters. Please note that Vote By Mail is not the same thing as Voter Registration. You must have registered to vote and then once you are registered (check here), you can apply to Vote By Mail.
Why should you vote by mail?
1. All registered voters who apply to Vote By Mail get 45 days to vote, starting Sept 22, 2018. So there’s no need to juggle time off of work, get childcare, or drive to your polling place so you can line up to vote on Election Day.
2. Vote By Mail is done with PAPER ballots. It is convenient and low-cost: just a stamp for the enclosed Application for Vote By Mail Ballot, and another stamp for the actual paper ballot.
3. Paper ballots are UNHACKABLE. All paper ballots are counted anonymously on Election Day.
Here’s what you should know:
1. Once you apply for a Mail-In Ballot, you will not be permitted to vote by machine at your polling place in the same election. For any reason like losing your ballot, on Election Day, you can still go to your local polling place like your normally would to vote BUT you will vote with a paper ballot called a Provisional Ballot!
2. You must complete the Application For Vote By Mail Ballot yearly in order to vote in each special election and primary. You can check 10 – A[to receive a Mail In Ballot for all elections for the remainder of the calendar year] and 10 – B [for all future November General Elections].
3. Every ballot is anonymous. The self-certification part on the white envelopes get torn off and put in a separate pile, and the ballots inside are put in its own pile assuring ballot anonymity.
4. All paper ballots received are counted and recorded. After the election, voters can call 1-877-NJ-VOTER (1-877-658-6837) to check if their ballot was received.
5. Worried that your ballot will not count? In the 2015 General Election, the #1 reason ballots did not count was because the ballot was received after the polls closed. That amounted to 0.0013% of total registered voters or 0.0062% of total ballots cast. So be sure to mail it by October 26, 2018! For those ballots that were received on time, the #1 reason the vote was rejected was the voter forgot to self-certify so please remember to write your name and sign the certification flap.