Monmouth County Republican clerk working to dispel disinformation about mail-in voting
Monmouth County’s Republican clerk is encouraging people to vote early by mail in November’s election.
Clerk Christine Hanlon says that her office is also working to correct the myths about voting by mail, including misinformation spread on social media.
“This was done very quickly and I think this is why it has caused alarm, because voters are used to voting in a certain way,” Hanlon says.
Hanlon is a week away from sending out 440,000 mail-in ballots to every registered voter in the county. It is more than 10 times the amount that she usually sends out. She is doing this while also trying to get skeptical voters to trust the process.
“Whether it’s mail-in or people going to the polls, all of the election officials work their hardest to make sure the process has integrity. But I feel that when there’s an unknown, when there’s an unknown component, it makes people think there could be a problem,” Hanlon says.
Gov. Phil Murphy decided to conduct the upcoming election mostly by mail because of the COVID-19 pandemic. President Donald Trump and some Republicans in New Jersey – including some Monmouth County elected officials – have criticized vote-by-mail and suggested that ballots could be lost or used to conduct voter fraud.
“Voting security, whether it’s in person or through the mail or the ballot box or handing that into a poll worker – all of the above – is of paramount importance to us and getting that right now, more than ever, is job No. 1,” Murphy said.
Hanlon says that she thinks everyone should vote by mail this election.
“I am going to vote by mail-in ballot and I’m going to hand-deliver it because I work here. I work close by,” she says.
There will be chances to vote in-person on Nov. 3. Every town has to have at least one in-person polling location.
But Hanlon says that voting by mail is the better option right now.
If you go to the polling location, you're going to be handed a piece of paper that's called a provisional ballot. And after all the mail-in ballots have been counted, it will have to be checked and verified and then counted after every single mail-in ballot so I am definitely voting by mail-in ballot,” she says.
Monmouth County's Board of Elections is preparing to hire 100 temporary workers to help count the anticipated flood of mail-in ballots.