Vote 2020: What New Jersey Voters Need to Know

ByNydia Han and Cheryl Mettendorf WPVI logo
Thursday, October 29, 2020

TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- In our Vote 2020: What You Need to Know series we're taking a closer look at New Jersey.

The voting process in the state is very different for this election, so we went to Secretary of State Tahesha Way for answers.

New Jersey voters who were already registered and active automatically received their 2020 election ballots in the mail.

So question number one:

Can New Jersey voters cast their ballots in-person on Election Day?

"Yes, there is in-person voting," said Way.

There are about 1,500 polling locations throughout the state but you will not be able to vote on a machine.

With the exception of those who require accommodations because of a disability, voters at the polls will be given a paper provisional ballot.

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Question Two: What is the deadline for New Jersey voters to return their mail-in ballots?

Vote by Mail ballots must be postmarked by November 3 and received by county board of election officials by 8 p.m. on November 10.

But election officials strongly encourage voters to put their ballots in a dropbox.

"We have about 300 of them throughout the state," added Way.

You can also take your completed vote by mail ballot to a designated polling place on November 3 before the polls close at 8pm.

Question Three: How can voters make sure their vote counts?

Make sure to sign and fill out the voter certificate form attached to the inner envelope.

"Voters should not detach their certificates and, of course, do not delay," she said.

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Question Four: When will ballots get counted?

Mail-in ballots are being counted now.

Governor Phil Murphy signed a law allowing election officials to begin counting mail-in ballots 10 days prior to Election Day.

Provisional ballots won't be counted until November 10.

Added Way, "The provisional paper ballots are always counted after the vote by mail ballots are counted."

That way election officials can check to make sure no one is voting twice.

Question: What is New Jersey doing to prevent voter fraud?

"Voter fraud is extremely...very, very rare. And in fact, the vote by mail is safe, simple and secure. That's why you have your signature verification. That is why there's the unique barcodes on the envelopes. That's why our counties have different designs in their vote by mail ballots," she said.

You can track your ballot using the online tool here.

Question: When will we have official election results?

"Around November 20 the counties will provide their certified election results to me and I must certify by December the 8, so by December 8," she said.

Way also said, "I'll definitely have an election result for New Jersey."

That having been said, as is tradition, contests will likely be called well before the official certification.