Heading to polls this week? Here’s what you need to know about Early In-Person Voting
You now have three ways to vote in 2021.
1. Mail-In Ballot
2. Election Day Voting
3. Early In-Person Voting
Early in-person voting is underway in New Jersey having begun on Saturday and continuing through this coming Sunday October 31.
Monmouth County Clerk Christine Hanlon explains that one of the important distinctions to remember about this new process is that there aren't as many locations to vote as you would/will see on Election Day itself.
"You can only early vote at certain designated locations, it's not at your usually polling place in your local district, neighborhood," Hanlon tells Townsquare Media News. "You have to make sure that you go to one of the designated polling locations in your county during that 9-day early voting period. Voters can typically find this information on their local county website or the state division of elections website."
One of the important things to remember after casting your ballot, be it mail-in or early in-person voting, you won't be able to see the tallied results right away. Everything gets tallied up on the big day itself.
"For the early voting process, the vote tallies can not take place until close of the polls on November 2nd this year, on election day," Hanlon said. "So all that information about the votes are secured and the county clerks will not be given that information to include with their tabulation until election day and close of the polls on election day. I don't want voters to think that 'oh, if I go vote early, I'm going to get those results early' and actually, we've had a lot of those questions, candidates have asked us 'when are you posting the early voting results? Are you going to post them early?'. No. The law requires that all of the information is secured -- the actual tally -- until close of the polls on election day."
You'll start to see the election results tallied up on election night and can keep track through the clerks office website.
The actual process for early-in person voting itself will be electronic if that's the route you choose to for casting the ballots this year.
"One of the most important things is the deployment of electronic poll books," Hanlon said. "In New Jersey, we've always been used to this paper poll book system where you go into your voting location, there's a paper poll book, you talk to the poll walker (and) sign your name in the paper poll book. Because of early voting, all the counties were mandated to purchase electronic poll books so now voters are going to see something more like an i-Pad or a tablet device, then they will have to sign with a stylus on this electronic device rather than paper."
What else is new or different about the ballots and elections in 2021? See below.