There were a lot of changes in 2020 when it came to the election process and how you cast ballots and where and so forth but with less Covid rules and restrictions in place this year, things are getting back to normal at the polls as well.

Perhaps by the general election in the fall, even more changes could be coming.

For now, there are a few things you need to know which will clear up any confusion about casting a ballot in person or submitting one via the mail or drop box.

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In 2020, it was a primarily mail-in ballot election conducted in July for the primaries, not the case this year, it'll be in-person and in June.

"We're going back, according to the state, to the way things were, for the most part, back in 2019. We're going back to the regular election process where voters can go out to their polling locations to vote on voting machines unless they had requested a mail-in ballot or they were already on what we call the permanent mail-in ballot list," Monmouth County Clerk Christine Hanlon tells Townsquare Media News.

It's late in the game when it comes to the fact that Primary Election Tuesday is near, but if you haven't received a mail-in ballot yet, Hanlon explains that you're probably not on the list so you can go to your polling place and vote in-person.

"You are free to go out to the polls and vote and you will be able to vote on the machines," Hanlon said.

If for some reason, you want to vote and won't be around or able to do so in person for the Primary Election, Hanlon says you can go to the Clerks office and apply for a mail-in ballot until Monday at 3:00 pm.

"You can vote right then and there in person and drop it off at the board of elections," Hanlon said.

You could also place your ballot in a drop box located near you in whatever county you live in.

Clerks offices and board of elections offices were burning the midnight oil last year for the elections having to physically count more ballots by hand than ever before.

While their fingers will catch a break this year, there will still be some tally after the fact but you still have to get your ballot in on time.

"People are going out to vote on voting machines and those results, especially in Monmouth County and many of the other counties, should be posted the night of, those are the machine results," Hanlon said. "There will be a much smaller number of mail-in ballots that will be counted, some by election night, but there was a law change last year, that said if your ballot is postmarked by election day but received within six days after the election by the board of elections, that ballot should be counted. So there will be some delay in the final results."

You can see when your ballot has been counted as well through Monmouth County Ballot Trax, a special site where you can learn that information.

"It's sort of an enhanced tracking program where you sign-up to be notified when your ballot has been received by the board of elections, so that you know that your ballot has been logged in," Hanlon said. "After the election, you would get a notification that your ballot has been accepted."

If you're a poll place worker, and you have yet to sign-up or might be interested in being there on Tuesday, the board of elections will gladly take your assistance.

"Please call the board of elections if you would like to work at the primary election on Tuesday," Hanlon said.

You'll get paid too.

The state has just authorized a one-time $200 bonus, on top of the standard $200 pay, for the Primary Election, Hanlon added.

As a poll workers you will be compensated $400 ($200 standard and $200 bonus) for working the Primary Election overall.

For more information, call the Monmouth County Board of Elections at 732-431-7802, ext. 7150.

For more information on ballots and the Primary Election process, you can visit the Monmouth County Clerks election page.

You can also head to the Ocean County Clerks election page if you live in Ocean County.

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