Mail-In Ballots Have Started To Go Out In N.J.

Election season is underway in N.J. with some county clerks saying they have started to send out mail-in ballots ahead of the Oct. 5 deadline for counties to get them in the mail.

In Union County, ballots have already been mailed to voters in Berkeley Heights, Clark, Cranford, Fanwood and Garwood, according to Joanne Rajoppi, the Union County Clerk.

She said ballots for Elizabeth are being mailed on Thursday, and the county will mail ballots on a rolling basis in alphabetical order.

“They’re going out in waves,” Rajoppi said. “If we sent them all at the same time, we don’t want there to be a problem with the post office.”

Rajoppi said the county is sending 80 different ballot types — some are still being printed — and they will go out to more than 360,000 voters.

Hunterdon County started mailing its ballots on Sept. 9, said Mary Melfi, the county’s clerk.

“I am mailing towns alphabetically — 26 municipalities — and have mailed Alexandria Township. Raritan Township is going in the mail (Thursday) for a total of approximately 71,000 ballots with five municipalities to go — Readington, Stockton, Tewksbury, Union and West Amwell.”

Melfi said she hopes the mailings will be completed next week, and she’s updating voters on Facebook and the county’s election website.

Cumberland County said it started mailing military and overseas ballots, but its approximately 85,000 county ballots will start to be mailed on Sept. 28.

Other counties haven’t started yet.

In Bergen County, more than 600,000 ballots will be mailed starting on Monday, Sept. 21, said Bergen County Clerk John Hogan.

They’re being printed now and are next headed to the mail house, he said.

“They don’t all go out at once. They will probably go out by regions as the printer finishes them and the mail house gets them,” he said.

Hogan said he doesn’t expect any issues with the postal service, noting they’ve had meetings about the election and Bergen County hasn’t had problems in the past.

They were told to expect delivery within seven days, he said.

“If for some reason a town calls and says deliveries are approaching seven days, we have a contact in the postal service that we can call,” he said.

Hogan called voting by mail safe, secure and easy.

“The time of debating and discussing how the election is going to be carried out has passed,” he said. “No more resisting, no more conspiracy theories. Now let’s deliver the election.”

Sussex County’s target date to start mailing ballots is Sept. 25, said Deputy Clerk Angela Rosa.

The county will mail ballots to 104,000 registered voters covering 24 ballot types.

“If we can get them out earlier, we will,” Rosa said.

In Monmouth County, the ballots will start to go out in late September, said Christine Giordano Hanlon, the county clerk.

“I’m planning to mail them all in a short time period — not weeks apart. More like days apart as they are ready to go,” she said.

She’s telling voters to contact her office if they don’t get their ballot by Oct. 13.

It’s not because of anticipated postal service issues, but because some ballots may be returned to the county because the address in the statewide voter registration system may be incorrect.

For the primary, more than 8,000 ballots were returned to the county, she said.

If that ever happens to you, the county will mail you a new ballot or you pick one up at the clerk’s office, she said.

Hanlon also said voters shouldn’t worry about what they see on social media as it relates to the postal service and ballot delivery dates. She said her town, for example, has always received mail a few days later than neighboring towns.

Also, she noted, those who register to vote close to the Oct. 13 cutoff probably won’t have their ballots mailed with the first batch.

“As new registrations come in, ballots will go out on a rolling basis or it could be one big batch,” she said.

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