New Jersey’s primary will be conducted largely by mail and at the Monday, June 22 Town Council meeting, Township Clerk Jennifer Kiernan gave an update on voting procedures. The primary had been postponed to July 7 from June 2 because of the pandemic.
Kiernan said that anyone currently registered as either a Democrat or Republican will automatically get a mail-in ballot at the mailing address on file with the Essex County Clerk. Voters who are unaffiliated will get a mail-in ballot request form at their address on file.
The forms come with a postage-paid envelope and completed mail-in ballots must be postmarked on or before July 7. You may also deposit your ballot in one of the secure mail drop boxes located throughout the county. Kiernan said there are 24-hour surveillance cameras on the boxes and county officials pick up from the drop boxes at least once a day.
The boxes are located at East Orange City Hall, 44 City Hall Plaza; Montclair Town Hall, 205 Claremont Avenue; Newark City Hall, 920 Broad Street; West Caldwell Municipal Building, 30 Clinton Road; and the Park and Ride at the South Mountain Recreation Complex. You may also deliver your ballot directly to the Board of Elections at the Hall of Records in Newark, anytime between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays.
Prospective voters who want to get a mail-in ballot in person can do so at the Essex County Clerk’s office in Newark until 3 p.m. on Monday, July 6. Fill out this form first.
If you want to vote in person, the only polling place in Verona on July 7 will be the Community Center, which will have an ADA-compliant voting machine and will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Kiernan said that voters who did not receive a vote-by-mail ballot or believe they were affiliated with a party different from the ballot they received can also vote at the Community Center through a provisional vote, which is a paper ballot. She said that Community Center voters must put on masks and gloves before entering the building. “And it’s a good idea to bring a pen,” she added, “if you’re going to vote on paper.”
Kiernan also said that, if a vote-by-mail ballot is rejected, the voter will be notified by the Board of Elections. She cautioned that, because of the time needed to count all the ballots, the results may not be available until the end of July. “Every effort will be made to provide those results as quickly as possible,” Kiernan said, “but the goal here is to be accurate.”