New Jersey Democratic State Committee Executive Director Sally Avelenda this morning put out a press release updating Garden State residents, Democrats and Republican alike, on the upcoming vote by mail, primary election in July.
While additional information will be forthcoming from Trenton, here is the latest information on what residents need to know:
Ever since the first days of the COVID-19 crisis, Governor Phil Murphy has been providing the decisive leadership needed to keep our state safe. He hasn’t been afraid to make tough choices, because he’s ensuring that his decision making is led by science and data, not by politics.
The Governor has been laser focused on keeping people safe, and on Friday he met that mandate again by announcing sweeping changes to the way our upcoming Primary Election will be run. The election will be held almost completely via vote by mail, a first for a statewide election in New Jersey. Voting by mail is the safest way we can all exercise our right to vote while protecting our health, and we at the NJDSC will be working hard over the coming weeks to make sure Democratic voters are aware of this new process and ready to cast their ballots.
Much more information will be released soon, but first we want to make sure you know about the broad strokes of Governor Murphy’s plan to protect our democracy in this public health crisis:
- All active registered Democrats and Republicans will receive a Vote by Mail ballot that will include prepaid return postage. All you have to do to cast your vote is to fill out your choices on the ballot itself, follow the instructions on the inner envelope including signing your name, place the ballot into the outer envelope and drop it in the mail. As long as your ballot is postmarked before July 7 and is delivered to the County Clerk by the post office by July 14, your vote will be counted.
- Unaffiliated or inactive voters will receive a Vote by Mail application, and will have the option to declare themselves for one of the major parties and participate in the election by mailing in their application, which will also have prepaid postage. They will then be mailed a ballot for the party of their choice and can follow the same steps above to cast their vote.
- Each county will have a limited number of secure Ballot Dropboxes where Vote by Mail ballots can be left. Ballot Dropbox locations and procedures will be determined by each County Clerk. Ballots can also be returned in person at each County Clerk’s office, with available hours varying by county.
- A limited number of polling places will be open on July 7 for voters unable to vote by mail. Anyone who needs to use one of these polling places will have the option to vote via provisional paper ballot. Proper CDC recommendations and social distancing orders will be in effect at polling places. A list of Election Day polling locations will be certified on June 15 and available shortly thereafter.
- The deadline to Register to Vote for the Primary Election will remain June 16.
- A Hotline number will be established by the Secretary of State to report Vote by Mail irregularities.