New guidelines allow safe primary voting, whether from home or at the polls

| 19 May 2020 | 09:12

To the Editor:

Governor Murphy issued an important executive order regarding the upcoming July 7 primary election. The League of Women Voters of New Jersey worked closely with the governor’s office to provide guidelines to ensure a safe and strong election during the coronavirus epidemic. Several of the League’s recommendations are included in the governor’s executive order. The following are important details about the July 7 primary:

● All active registered Republican and Democratic voters will automatically receive a vote-by-mail ballot. A pre-paid postage return envelope will be included. All unaffiliated voters and inactive Republican and Democratic voters will receive a postage-paid vote-by-mail application.

● To the extent possible, there will be at least 5 readily accessible secure ballot drop box locations per county for voters to return their vote-by-mail ballots.

● Vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked by July 7 (Election Day) and must be received by the County Board of Elections by July 14.

● In-person voting options will also be available. A minimum of 1 polling location per municipality will be available and each county will open a minimum of 50% of its polling places (provided that sufficient poll workers are available). CDC guidelines for polling place safety and sanitation will be followed.

● Voters who vote at polling places will vote using a provisional ballot. Voters with disabilities may vote on ADA-accessible voting machines.

● Voters will not receive sample ballots, but will receive notification of their polling locations.

● Voters cannot return voted vote-by-mail ballots to polling places.

These important new guidelines will make it possible for voters to vote safely from their home or to vote at a designated polling place if they prefer to do so.

Litsa Binder