3.5 million New Jersey ballots returned ahead of Election Day

BLACKWOOD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- New Jersey voters are turning out in historic numbers throughout the Garden State, in its first election conducted mostly by mail.

A line of cars and people wrapped around the Camden County election center in Blackwood, N.J. on Monday, many handing in their mail-in ballots.

"I turned 18 two years ago, so this is my first time ever voting. This is really important for kids my age to vote," said Tammy Walters of Berlin, N.J.

"My two older kids are voting and my wife and I just wanted to make sure they got there in time and that the vote counts," said John Shea of Haddonfield, who utilized the drive-through line.

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The groundswell of early voting for the 2020 election is due in part to the youth vote.



On Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy said more than 3.5 million mail-in ballots have been returned so far.

"That's more than 90% of the entire turnout for the 2016 election," said Murphy.

In Camden County, more than 200,000 ballots have already been returned.

While ballots are being scanned and counted at the election center, preliminary results won't be posted online until after the polls close at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, and that likely won't include all the ballots cast on Election Day. Officials say ballot processing and counting will continue for at least a few days.

"Wednesday we'll have thousands of ballots that will come back here from the polling places. So we'll have to add that in. Every evening around 8-8:30 p.m. we'll update," said Camden County Board of Elections Commissioner Rich Ambrosino.

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Counting must be finished by the certification deadline of November 20.

We found voters delivering their ballot on their lunch break, trying to beat the evening crowds.

"I kind of expected it to be busier than this. But I'm glad I'm earlier. By the time everybody gets off work I'll be good," said Adrianna McClindon of Berlin, N.J.

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Anyone who wants to vote in person at a polling place on Tuesday in New Jersey will be given a paper provisional ballot, and those will be counted after the mail-in ballots are counted.

Each polling place will have a voting machine reserved for those with disabilities.

Drop boxes will remain open until 8 p.m. Tuesday and then they'll be locked. Officials say if you're in line at 8 p.m. - at a polling place or a dropbox - you will be permitted to vote.

New Jersey voters can also deliver their mail-in ballots at their polling places on Tuesday.
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