3.25 million New Jerseyans had already voted as of 5 pm on Friday, October 30. If you’re one of the estimated 2 million that intend to vote on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, expect to wait on line for several hours.
There are three ways to vote at a polling location in your town on Election Day. But first you have to find the polling location. Monmouth County residents can find your polling location here at MonmouthCountyVotes.com. If you live elsewhere in the state, check here at the NJ Divisions of Elections site.
You can avoid the lines by using one of the secure ballot drop boxes throughout your County. Find those locations here.
If you choose to go to a polling location in your town, the wait will continue even when you get to the head of the line. Each of the three voting methods require that you check in with a poll worker, verify that your registered, and sign a certification before you can vote.
If you choose to vote by machine, you will be required to sign a certification attesting that you are disabled and unable to complete a paper ballot. Once you signed that you are unable to fill out a paper ballot, the poll worker is required to call the Board of Elections where a temporary election worker (in Monmouth County the Board of Elections hired only six people to field these calls, I’m told) who will verify that you have not already cast a ballot via mail or a secure ballot drop box. Only then will you be directed to vote by machine.
If you choose to vote the ballot you received in the mail at a polling location, you can do so. But first you have to wait in line. When you get to the end of the line, a poll worker will verify that you are registered and that you are at the correct polling location. If you are at the wrong polling location, you’ll be directed to the correct location, if the poll worker knows where it is. It might be in the same room you are in. It might be across town. You will then have to verify that it is your ballot you are casting and not someone else’s. Then you can give your completed and certified ballot to the poll worker who will put it in a bag or a box that will be delivered to the Board of Elections later.
If you did not receive a ballot in the mail or you no longer have that ballot, you can go to a polling location in your town and vote on a provisional paper ballot. After some rigmarole with the poll worker you will be given a provisional ballot and be directed to a private location to complete it. Then you can wait to give it back to a poll worker who will put it in a box or a bag to be delivered to the Board of Elections. These ballots will be counted only after all the other ballots have been counted.
- You can go to the elections office in your County to vote. In Monmouth County, the location is 300 Halls Mill Road in Freehold. There will be lines and rigmarole, but you will be able to vote by paper ballot or machine, if your disability prevents you from completing a paper ballot and you can sign a certification that says so. In Monmouth County, the elections office is open on Monday from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. and on Tuesday from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.
- You can drop the paper ballot you received in the mail in a secure ballot drop box.
- You can mail your ballot at the post office and hope it gets to the Board of Elections on time with the correct postmark.