Gov. Murphy: New Jersey’s November general election will be done mostly by mail

Gov. Phil Murphy says the general election will be done mostly by mail, following the model the state used in its July primary.

News 12 Staff

Aug 14, 2020, 12:46 PM

Updated 1,383 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy says the general election will be done mostly by mail, following the model the state used in its July primary. The nearly all-mail election in July stemmed from the coronavirus outbreak.
Every New Jersey voter will receive a vote-by-mail ballot with a prepaid return envelope. There will not be sample ballots. In addition to mailing the ballots in, ballots may also be turned in at polling locations on Election Day or in secure drop boxes.
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“All of us recognize the importance of this year’s election. Ensuring that every voter has the ability to securely cast their ballot, while protecting public health is our paramount concern,” Murphy said. “The recent primary election gave us the opportunity to see what worked, and where we can make improvements to this kind of election.”
There will still be some in-person voting. The governor said that all counties must have 50% of their polling sites open. Anyone who wants to vote in person can do so on a provisional ballot. This means that the votes will only be counted after officials determine a ballot was not previously sent in by mail.
Murphy’s decision comes as President Donald Trump casts doubts on universal mail-in voting, saying that it will lead to voter fraud.
Bergen County Clerk John Hogan says that despite the president’s concerns, Bergen County residents can feel confident that their vote will be counted.
“They can feel absolutely, despite what they are hearing from people above, or who think they are above, vote by mail in Bergen county is secure. We have no incidents from the primary election,” Hogan says.
But Bergen County Superintendent of Elections Patti DiCostanza says that cross-checking in-person votes with mail-in ballots will be a tall order. There were 20,000 provisional ballots cast in the county in the July Primary and that number is expected to be much higher in November.
“I have to tell you, I am sure we can do it, but it’s definitely going to be a challenge,” she says.
The secure drop boxes in Bergen County will be emptied each night as it gets closer to Election Day. A Democrat and a Republican member of the Bergen County Board of Elections will be on hand to empty the boxes.
Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3.


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