Answering all of your questions prior to Election Day 2022 in New Jersey
The Early Voting period concluded last night at 6:00 pm across New Jersey. There is now a day off before voting continues in full on Tuesday as those who are registered and who haven't voted yet, can go to the polls and do so at their designated locations.
For those going out tomorrow though, there are a few things to review here so you're prepared and know what to expect.
To help answer some Election Day and Voting FAQs, Monmouth County Clerk Christine Hanlon joined us on 'Shore Time with Vin and Dave' on Sunday morning on 94.3 The Point and 105.7 The Hawk.
There were some changes made in 2020 because of the pandemic with how to casted a ballot, and in some ways, things were expedited, but, some of those changes were temporary and some adapted in 2020, 2021, or even here in 2022 are for the long haul.
"The biggest thing is the new Early Voting procedure, in 2020 because of the pandemic we had that mandatory all mail-in ballot situation, and some people still ask 'is everyone going to get a mail-in ballot', so we really have to educate people to know that that was a one-time thing that's not happening this year," Hanlon tells Townsquare Media. "Then, last year, was the implementation of this new Early Voting in-person on machines procedure, that continues, that's now a state law, this is the second year when we have this Early Voting in-person procedure, and, one of the biggest changes related to that related to the electronic poll books that voters will see at these voting locations no matter when they got and vote, that happened last year, and then, of course, the nine-day working period prior to Election Day for the general election where people can go and cast their ballots and designated polling locations on voting machines."
When you go to the polls on Tuesday, the way in which you signed in last year will be the way to do so again this year.
"In New Jersey, you don't have to show your license, that's only if there's a discrepancy with your signature or some other discrepancy. For the most part, voters go in and they give their name and the poll worker will look them up in the electronic poll book," Hanlon said. "You sign, it's like a tablet or smart device, and the voter signs with a stylus, and the poll worker checks the voter's signature as compared to the signature on file in the state database."
You're also allowed to bring your sample ballot with you should you choose to do so on Election Day.
"One of the interesting things that you couldn't do with the old poll books -- the paper poll books -- is that you can bring your sample ballot to the polling location and it could be scanned so that your voter file comes up right away, so, it's an interesting new procedure, makes it quicker, and then they have that, your voter information appears right away," Hanlon said. "One of the important things depends on the county where you live, in Monmouth County, whether you go vote on Election Day or Early Vote, you will have the same experience with the electronic poll book and the type of voting machine. Some counties -- there may be a different type of machine if you go vote early as opposed to on Election Day."
There are also some things you're allowed to do and not allowed to do when it comes to mail-in ballots and provisional ballots in New Jersey as well.
"I've been getting a lot of questions lately about 'if I got my mail-in ballot, but, I don't want to use it, can I just go to the polls to vote?', so, generally speaking, what I like to tell people is you have the ballot, vote it, turn it in, there's still time, drop it in a drop box, hand deliver it, drop it in the mail -- as long as it's postmarked by Election Day (November 8), you're good," Hanlon said. "Some people, still, are like 'I lost it, I don't know what to do -- voters can go to a polling location and they will be given a provisional ballot, they will not be allowed to vote on a voting machine, the law in New Jersey is that if you were issued a ballot, not if you voted it if you were issued a ballot, no matter what, you are not allowed to vote on a voting machine, and you will be given a provisional ballot and that is just as good as any other ballot because that will be counted, provided that you didn't vote by mail."
If you forgot to vote or didn't have a chance to do so until Tuesday night, you don't have to defy the speed of sound to get to a location, you just have to do so by 8:00 pm.
"If you have a mail-in ballot, you have to get it to the Board of Elections or to a drop box by the close of the polls, and, I will say that you cannot deliver it to a polling location, it has to be to your Board of Elections Office or drop box or in the mail, so don't bring your mail-in ballot to a polling location," Hanlon said. "And then, if you're racing out to the polls -- the law is as long as you are on line to vote at 8:00 pm, you will be allowed to vote, if you get there after that, you will be turned away."
You can listen to the entire conversation we had with Monmouth County Clerk Christine Hanlon on Election Day 2022 and Voting on 'Shore Time with Vin and Dave' on 94.3 The Point and 105.7 The Hawk, right here.
Interview Part One:
Interview Part Two: