‘Uncharted waters’ – New Jersey’s primary election will mostly have mail-in ballots

July 7 was a very different primary election day than New Jersey is used to. Some voters still went to the polls despite COVID-19 concerns, but many others opted to vote by mail.

News 12 Staff

Jul 7, 2020, 9:22 AM

Updated 1,477 days ago

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July 7 was a very different primary election day than New Jersey is used to. Some voters still went to the polls despite COVID-19 concerns, but many others opted to vote by mail.
Tuesday’s election had some competitive primaries for House, Senate and local races.
“This is not our first rodeo, but this is by far the largest number of people who have voted by mail in New Jersey to date,” says Micah Rasmussen, of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University.
Rasmussen says that New Jerseyans should not expect a typical election night, either.
“We really need to adjust our expectations. We’re used to going to bed on election night knowing the winner. That’s not going to be the case tonight,” he says. “The number of ballots is going to exceed the margin in some cases, so it’s going to take a couple of days.”
Rasmussen also says that there could be some questions about the results in some of the congressional primaries that are expected to be close.
“Unprecedented, uncharted waters. This is not something the voters are used to,” he says.
District 2’s Rep. Jeff Van Drew’s switch from Democrat to Republican means a competitive Democratic primary to run against him in the fall. Amy Kennedy, political science professor Brigid Harrison and progressive Wil Cunningham are all vying to take on Van Drew.
Rasmussen says that he thinks the race will be close.
In Burlington and Ocean counties, businessman David Richter and former freeholder Kate Gibbs are vying for the GOP nomination to take on Democratic Rep. Andy Kim in November.
“it is very personal. It has gotten nasty,” says Rasmussen.
Gov. Phil Murphy says that he will be evaluating the primary to see how much vote-by-mail should be included in the presidential election in November.
“It will take a number of days to give us the post-mortem we need” he said on Monday.
New Jersey sent out a total of 3.6 million vote-by-mail ballots to every registered Republican and Democrat in the state. The primary is closed to independent voters.


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