NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a new state law mandating that the general election be held mainly via Vote By Mail. Despite the pandemic, Middlesex County is ensuring voters still have a safe and secure way to exercise their right to vote in this year’s election.
In accordance with the new state law, Middlesex County will begin mailing Vote By Mail ballots to all active, registered voters in the county. In addition, voters in Middlesex County will have five different options to cast their vote in the 2020 General Election.
Middlesex County has created a webpage for residents to learn more about the registration and voting process at www.middlesexcountynj.gov/vote2020.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many of our residents’ normal routines, and the 2020 General Election is no exception. As a result, Middlesex County has given voters several options to cast their votes safely and securely, including the purchase and installation of drop boxes in each of our municipalities, far surpassing the minimum of 10 boxes per County required by the state,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios.
“While residents may not feel comfortable voting in-person at the polls during this epidemic, Middlesex County is working to ensure that this election is safe, secure, and accurate. For this year’s General Election, the County is mailing voter confirmation “I Voted” postcards to reassure voters that their ballot has been received and will be tabulated by the Middlesex County Board of Elections,” said Middlesex County Clerk Elaine Flynn.
REGISTERING TO VOTE
To participate in the election, residents must be registered to vote, and must do so before Tuesday, October 13, if not already registered. For the first time ever, residents can register to vote online or use traditional registration methods including completing then mailing a voter registration application or submitting the application in person at the County Clerk’s Office or Board of Elections, or while applying or renewing a driver’s license at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
WHAT VOTERS WILL RECEIVE
Every active, registered voter, and new registrant in Middlesex County will receive a mail-in ballot which includes the following materials:
- An overview letter
- Instructions on how to vote by mail
- An official Middlesex County mail-in ballot
- A yellow certificate envelope
- A green mail-in return envelope
- A public questions text sheet
- Tips for how to vote by mail
Instructions for how to complete the Vote By Mail ballot are included on the ballot received in the mail or found in the How-To Video posted on www.middlesexcountynj.gov/vote2020
COUNTY CLERK OFFERING ELECTION INFORMATION CENTERS
Recognizing the rapidly changing election environment and the non-traditional nature of this election, the Middlesex County Clerk’s Office will be establishing “Election Information Centers” in partnership with municipalities in Middlesex County.
At these local centers, voters will be able to access many of the same services they can receive by visiting the Middlesex County Clerk’s Office in New Brunswick. These centers will be available to assist voters who wish to apply to vote by mail, who damaged or misplaced their ballot and require a ballot regeneration, or who are generally looking for information or assistance as to how they can participate in the November 3rd General Election.
The County Clerk’s Office will be locating these centers in the immediate vicinity of a secured ballot drop box, so that if they wish, voters may drop off their ballot after receiving assistance at the Center. More details regarding the locations and hours of operations for the “Election Information Centers” will be released by the County Clerk’s Office.
HOW VOTERS CAN VOTE
Most voters have several ways to vote in this election, all via paper ballots, which include:
- Voters may mail the ballots via the United States Postal Service at any time before November 3 (ballots must be postmarked on or before November 3). Postage is included at no cost to residents.
- Voters may place the ballot in one of the secure drop boxes located throughout the County until Tuesday, November 3 at 8 pm. A list of the current drop box locations can be found on the County website at: http://www.middlesexcountynj.gov/vote2020 (In East Brunswick, the box is located at the Municipal building.)
- Voters may drop the ballot off at the Middlesex County Board of Elections located at 11 Kennedy Blvd, East Brunswick until Tuesday, November 3 at 8 pm. If someone other than you (the voter) is delivering your ballot to the Board of Elections, make sure that they fill out and sign the Bearer Section on the left-front side of the green return envelope and review the guidelines on the back of the green envelope.
- Voters may vote in person on November 3 via a provisional, paper ballot only. A limited number of machines will be available only for voters with a disability.
- Accommodations will be made for voters with a disability at their polling location. If you are a disabled voter and need access to an ADA accessible ballot marking device to vote on November 3, please call the Middlesex County Board of Elections at 732-745-3471.
- Voters may submit a completed and sealed Vote By Mail ballot at their assigned polling location in-person on Election Day, November 3, 2020
- Bearers will be prohibited from submitting another individuals ballot at polling locations
- Polling locations can be found on the County website at: http://www.middlesexnj.gov/vote2020
If your Vote By Mail ballot is lost, damaged or you do not believe you received it, you may request a duplicate. Please fill out the replacement ballot form on the middlesexcountynj.gov/vote2020 website and submit it to the County Clerk’s Office. The deadline to request a replacement ballot to be sent to you via the mail is October 23rd, though voters may request a replacement ballot in-person at the County Clerk’s Office through election day.
For election information and general questions, please visit www.middlesexcountynj.gov/vote2020. If you have any questions regarding applications or the sending of mail-in ballots for the Nov. 3, 2020 General Election, please call the Elections Division of the County Clerk’s Office at 732-745-4202.