How is 2020 general election voting different from last year?
- Every active registered voter will get a pre-paid postage vote by mail ballot in the mail from the Somerset County Clerk, Steve Peter. His name will appear on the envelop you receive.
- All ballots will be mailed out to you via the US Postal Service (USPS) by October 5th.
- You will not receive a sample ballot this year. The ballot you receive is an official ballot.You need to fill out this ballot you receive and return it in one of the following ways: (more specific details are in the message below this section)
- You can mail it back to the board of election through the USPS.
- You can also return it via secure Ballot Drop Box (There is one at the Montgomery Municipal Building)
- Take it directly to the Somerset County Board of Elections in person and place it in their Ballot Drop Box,
- or take the ballot you received in the mail to your polling location on Election Day and leave it there with the poll workers.
Why did they change the voting process for this year?
Governor Phil Murphy has implemented a plan that protects public health and ensures all New Jerseyans can safely cast their ballot. These measures were tested in the July Primary election resulted in increased voter participation leading to the second highest state primary turnout in NJ history. It does not favor one political party it favors democracy. This plan has been expanded from the primary model to ensure regardless of the USPS status in November—all voters will be able to safely and securely cast their ballot.
I received a mailer from USPS about voting this year. It seems to give conflicting information. What should I believe?
You may have received this mailer from the US Postal Service. Please note that this mailing is not state-specific and conveys certain information that does not apply to NJ voters.
- There is no need to request a mail-in ballot in NJ. County Clerks are mailing ballots to every active registered voter.
- There is no need to add postage to your ballot, as paid return postage is provided to all NJ voters.
- Mailing your completed ballot is one of several ways to return it to your Board of Elections. You can also return it via secure Ballot Drop Box at one of the locations listed below, to your County Board of Elections in person, or at your polling location on Election Day.
Usually I vote by absentee or mail in voting. Will this change?
- Absentee ballot or mail in voting is the same. The term “absentee ballot” was replaced by the term “mail in ballot voting” years ago. If you are currently registered for mail in voting, your ballot this year will be sent to the location listed for mail in voting. For example, if your “mail in voting” address is Florida, your official ballot will be sent there. If you are a student your “mail in voting” ballot will be sent to the college you have previously designated. If it is your address in Montgomery Township, it will go there.
- If your address is different for this election from the address you provided for previous mail in voting, you need to change the address to get a duplicate VBM ballot mailed to your current address. Ballots are in the process of being printed.
- After October 14 and before October 23 you can call the Board of Elections and they will send out a duplicate ballot. You have to call the Board of Elections at 908-231-7084.
- After October 23 you must come to the Board of Election offices at the County Bldg. at 20 Grove Street Somerville to change that address and get a duplicate ballot. You can also vote there at that time.
So how does it work?
Voters have several safe options for returning their mail in ballot.
- Use pre-paid postage VBM Ballot via USPS mail
- Postmark by November 3rd and will be counted if received by 8pm November 10th
- Ballots that lack postmarks and received within 48 hours of close of poll will be considered valid
- Return VBM ballot at a ballot drop box.There will be one ballot drop box at the Montgomery Township Municipal Building. and it will have 24-hour camera surveillance. Ballot Drop Off Boxes will be available for ballot drop off 24 hours daily from the week of September 28 until close of polls 8pm on Election Night, Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Ballots will be picked up daily by full time Board of Elections staff. Please be aware that these boxes will be under 24-hour video surveillance at all times. Somerset County ONLY. A list of locations is available at https://www.co.somerset.nj.us/government/affiliated-agencies/election-board/drop-boxes.
- Hand deliver to the Somerset County Board of Elections Ballot Drop Box at 20 Grove Street Somerville. It also has 24-hour surveillance camera.
- Personally, hand to a poll worker at an in-person designated polling place on Election Day (11/3). Voters can go to a polling location from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Polling locations in Montgomery Township are listed below. It may not be your traditional voting location.
- Central Jersey Masonic Center, 345 Kingston-River Road, Princeton (Dist. 1, 13, 18)
- Otto Kaufman Community Center, 356 Skillman Road, Skillman (Dist. 2-4, 16, 19)
- Montgomery Evangelical Free Church, 246 Griggstown Road, Belle Mead (Dist. 5, 6, 10-12, 17)
- Montgomery Township Municipal Building, 2261 Route 206, Belle Mead (Dist. 7- 9, 14, 15)
- In-person voting on Election Day will be with a PROVISIONAL ballot at designated polling location in Montgomery for those without a VBM ballot.
- Polling locations will have provisions for registered voters. If you have an impairment that prevents you from filling out a paper ballot and want to vote by ADA accessible machine at a designated polling location, you will be required to sign an affidavit attesting to your impairment. The nature of your impairment is not required to be disclosed.
Can I vote on Election day like I always do?
There are several important changes for you to be aware of:
- There will be fewer polling places. Polling Locations for Montgomery Township are listed above.
- Only individuals with disabilities who cannot fill out a paper ballot will have access to an ADA compliant machine at the polling location. Please note: NO OTHER VOTERS WILL BE VOTING BY MACHINE. THEY WILL BE VOTING EITHER USING THE VBM BALLOT OR A PROVISIONAL BALLOT.
Are PROVISIONAL ballots counted?
Yes, but no provisional ballot is counted at the polling place. All provisional ballots are taken to the County Commissioner of Registration’s office after the close of the polls for verification and counting by the Somerset County Board of Election.
What is the process to vote provisionally?
- The poll worker will give you a paper ballot and an envelope.
- The poll worker must provide you with a place to vote the ballot in secret.
- Put the voted ballot in the envelope and seal it.
- Sign and complete the Affirmation Statement that is attached to the envelope. DO NOT DETACH the Affirmation Statement. If you do not sign the Affirmation Statement, your ballot will not be counted.
- Give the envelope to the poll worker.
- Watch the poll worker put the envelope into the provisional ballot bag, or you may put your ballot into the bag yourself.
- If you spoil your ballot, you have the right to ask the board worker for another ballot.
What if I didn’t vote for the last ten years will I still get a ballot?
If you are questioning your active status, visit https://voter.svrs.nj.gov/registration-check or call the Somerset County Board of Elections at (908) 231-7084. Tuesday, October 13 – This is the last day to register to vote and be able to cast a ballot in the 2020 General Election.
What are the key dates for this Election?
- Monday, October 5 – Ballots for active voters will be mailed out by this date. Ballots can be submitted as soon as they are received, which may happen before this date.
- Tuesday, October 13 – This is the last day to register to vote and be able to cast a ballot in the 2020 General Election.
- Friday, October 23 – This is the last day to request a replacement ballot through the mail. Ballots can still be requested in person at the Clerk’s office (location TBD due to COVID restrictions) through 8 p.m. on November 3, 2020.
- Wednesday, October 28 – This is the last day Qualified Overseas and Military Voters can request electronic balloting.
- Tuesday, November 3, 2020 – Election Day
How does a voter find out if their Vote by Mail or Provisional Ballot was received and counted?
The New Jersey Department of State has a website dedicated to voter information. You can visit: https://voter.svrs.nj.gov/
You will be able to find out the status of your ballot. All voters can call 1-877-NJVOTER (1-877-658-6837) after the election to find out whether their Vote by Mail or Provisional ballot was counted or the reason it was rejected.
When will the public get election results?
The Board of Elections is committed to counting ballots as quickly as possible, but final election results will not be known that evening, and even preliminary totals may be delayed. Paper ballots take longer to count than machine ballots. Election results must be certified by the Somerset County Board of Elections no later than November 20, 2020.
The registration deadline for this year’s general election is October 13 and eligible voters can register online at: https://voter.svrs.nj.gov/register.
Remember to vote in the 2020 general election, support our local Democratic candidate Shelly L. Bell and vote Democrat up the line!