Ocean County Clerk Scott M. Colabella said an astounding 222,209 vote-by-mail ballots had by now been gained in Ocean County by early Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 27.
And he additional there was however a 7 days for Ocean County citizens to vote-by-mail. “I’m estimating we’ll get 290,000 vote-by-mail ballots by Election Day.” He claimed voters were being producing considerable use of protected ballot fall packing containers.
What will make those quantities astounding? Take into consideration this – Colabella claimed there had been 280,409 ballots cast county-broad in the 2016 presidential election.
Ocean County is naturally reflecting the nationwide craze of early voting and extraordinary turnout. That is not stunning, thinking of the county has a heritage of significant turnouts.
“In 2008,” explained Colabella, “73 percent of registered voters in the county voted. In 2012 that dropped to 66 per cent, but try to remember, that was the year of (Superstorm) Sandy. In 2016, it was 70 %.”
Congratulations, Ocean County citizens. In accordance to the United States Election Challenge, just 59.9 p.c of eligible voters cast their ballots nationwide in 2016.
In accordance to Colabella, Ocean County at the moment has about 424,000 registered voters. So that indicates thousands could even now flip up at the polls on Nov. 3 even nevertheless, unless of course they have a incapacity, they won’t be in a position to vote on a machine. In its place they’ll have to fill out provisional paper ballots, slowing down the county’s vote depend.
The Ocean County Board of Elections was permitted to commence tabulating vote-by-mail ballots 10 times just before the election. Vote-by-mail ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 can be counted right up until Nov. 10. Then, reported Colabella, the provisional ballots will be tabulated.
Provisional ballots simply cannot be counted until finally then mainly because election officials ought to make sure that a human being voting with a provisional ballot hadn’t presently voted via vote-by-mail. So last vote counts will be delayed. But it will be a issue of a couple of weeks, not months, for the reason that New Jersey law involves its counties to certify its election benefits by Nov. 20.
The vote-by-mail process, ordered by Gov. Phil Murphy in check out of the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to a appreciable amount of confusion.
Colabella said the most prevalent concern for his office environment early in the vote-by-mail procedure, in late September and early October, was “I did not get my ballot. What do I do?” But above time, he reported, the queries improved.
“The cat ripped up my ballot,” folks would say. “I spilled espresso on my ballot what do I do?”
The cat? What transpired to dogs eating homework? No, claimed Colabella, persons ended up blaming cats additional than canines.
So, the county clerk needs individuals in Southern Ocean County to know enable is available if you have not acquired a vote-by-mail ballot or have spoiled types.
On Halloween, Saturday, Oct. 31, the Ocean County Clerk’s place of work in the Ocean County Source Heart, found at 179 South Primary St. in Manahawkin, will be open up from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to support voters who may well have experienced complications. On Sunday, Nov. 1, it will yet again be ready to give guidance from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Then, on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 2 and 3, it will be open up from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If, claimed Colabella, you have not been given a vote-by-mail ballot in the mail or have had it wrecked by cats (or canine or toddlers) or espresso stains, you can fill out a just one-web page affidavit as to why you need to have a second ballot. You can then fill out that ballot in the workplace and put it in the safe ballot fall box found exterior of the developing.
A person point is practically sure: Ocean County, and possibly the rest of the nation, will have the greatest voter turnout, be it by mail, early voting, or at the polls on Nov. 3, in the heritage of the state.
— Rick Mellerup