The 2020 election process is different from all prior years. The article below, assembled by the OBVTA board should help answer any questions you have.
2020 Voting FAQ
What’s different about the 2020 elections?
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, to help voters avoid going in person to cast their votes, all registered voters in New Jersey are being sent ballots by mail that they can return via United States Postal Service; at secure drop-in ballot boxes; at the Ocean County Board of Elections; or with poll workers on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3rd. Almost every voter will vote using the mailed ballot; no one will be allowed to vote in person at a voting machine on Election Day unless they have a documented disability.
Can I still register?
You have until Oct. 13 to register for the Nov. 3rd elections in New Jersey online, by mail (postmarked Oct. 13) or in person.
How do I register?
New Jersey offers online voter registration. You can also register by mail to vote in New Jersey by printing a voter registration form, filling it out, and mailing it to your local election office. You can also register to vote in person.
How can I confirm that I am registered?
This website allows you to verify that you are registered to vote in New Jersey: Check to See if Registered Here. Just type in your name and date of birth to confirm registration, as well as to verify the county in which you are registered. Be sure to use the precise name under which you are registered.
What do I do with the ballot I received in the mail?
You will fill out the ballot and return it via the United States Postal Service;
OR by inserting it into a secure drop-off box set up for this election:OR by turning it into the Board of Elections; OR by personally handing it to poll workers at your local polling place on Nov. 3rd.
You must drop off your ballots in the county in which you received your ballot, so an Ortley homeowner who is registered in Bergen County and gets her ballot from Bergen County has to use a Bergen County drop box OR the United States Postal Service OR cast a provisional ballot at her Bergen County polling location OR drop it off at the Bergen County Board of Elections.
How do I fill out my ballot?
The ballot has two sides. The first side of the Ocean County ballot allows you to vote for U.S. President and Vice-President; U.S. Senator; U.S. Representative for the 3rd Congressional District; Ocean County Clerk; one Freeholder, and three Toms River school board members. Mark the circles by the names of your chosen candidates, using only pencil or blue or black ink.
The second side of the ballot has three state propositions. Vote Yes or No by filling in the appropriate bubbles at the bottom of the page.
Fill out both sides. Check your ballot carefully.
Insert your completed ballot into the smaller, ballot envelope. DO NOT tear off the “Certificate of Mail-In Voter,” which looks like a stub, that is on the back side of that envelope.
Fill in the information on the Certificate of Mail-In Voter “stub” certifying that you are the voter who is casting this ballot, your address, etc. SIGN IT. Your signature on this form will be used to confirm that you are a registered and valid voter, and to track voting so that multiple ballots are not submitted by a single registered voter. YOU MUST SIGN THAT STUB FOR YOUR VOTE TO BE COUNTED.
If you were assisted in filling out your ballot, fill out and sign the bottom half of the Certificate to certify who assisted you and that you agreed to the assistance.
Do not tear off the stub!
Seal the inner envelope (pull of the strip to reveal the adhesive seal).
Place that inner, smaller envelope with the Certificate of Mail-In Voter still attached into the larger envelope addressed to the Board of Elections. Fill out the front of that larger, mailing envelope to include your name and address and to indicate whether the ballot was mailed or delivered by someone other than yourself.
Postage is not required.
Return the ballot by mail via the United States Postal Service OR drop it off in one of the secure drop-off boxes in Ocean County (or in the county from which you received your ballot) OR at the Ocean County Board of Elections OR at your polling place.
When can I mail or drop off my ballot?
Election and party officials are recommending that voters cast their ballots as soon as possible to allow for counting to begin and to avoid a last-minute deluge of ballots that could delay tabulating election results.
Where can I drop off my ballot before Nov. 3rd, Election Day?
You can drop off your ballot at the Ocean County Board of Elections Office OR at secure drop-box locations. See locations below.
Below are the Ocean County Drop Box Locations where you can drop off your ballot.
The closest locations to Ortley Beach are:
1) LAVALLETTE LIBRARY (UPPER SHORES), 112 JERSEY CITY AVENUE LAVALLETTE, NJ 08735
2) OCEAN COUNTY PARKING GARAGE, 3RD FLOOR LEVEL – MADISON AVENUE TOMS RIVER, NJ 08754
3) PIC INC OF OCEAN COUNTY, 1959 ROUTE 9 TOMS RIVER, NJ 08755
4) POINT PLEASANT LIBRARY, 834 BEAVER DAM ROAD POINT PLEASANT, NJ 08742
5) TOMS RIVER LIBRARY, 101 WASHINGTON STREET TOMS RIVER, NJ 08754 (right near the coffee shop in the building with the steeple and clock.
From the Mayor of Point Pleasant: “If you’re worried about Governor Murphy’s vote by mail directive and have some free time, I’d highly recommend dropping off your mail in ballot directly at the Ocean County Board of Elections in Toms River. I just did it myself and it was quick, easy and most importantly… recorded. Go to 129 Hooper Avenue and then go down to the basement. A clerk will take your mail in ballot, stamp it and then have you sign their voter book. Then you literally watch as they place it in their box. It felt as official as is possible under the current circumstances.”
Where can I drop off my ballot on Election Day?
You may drop off your ballot at your local polling place. For Ortley Beach residents (Districts 8 and 26), that remains St. Elisabeth’s Chapel by the Sea, 7 Third Avenue.
I have not yet received a ballot. What should I do?
According to the State of New Jersey: If you don’t receive your ballot and you are registered, please contact your County Clerk to determine the status of your ballot and next steps. If you did not receive your ballot and would like to receive your ballot by mail you must request your ballot by no later than Friday, October 23rd. Otherwise you must get your vote by mail ballot in-person from your county clerk. If you pick up a vote by mail ballot on Election Day, in person, you have until 8 p.m. to return it to the Board of Elections, or your polling place, or deposit it in one of your county’s secure authorized ballot drop boxes.
County Clerk: Scott M. Colabella. Address: Court House, P.O. Box 2191, 118 Washington Street, Toms River, NJ 08754-2191. Office Hours: 8:00am-4:30pm. Phone #: 732-929-2018 FAX#: 732-349-4336.
Website: Ocean County Clerk
Can I vote by “machine” on Nov. 3rd, Election Day?
Not this year. According to the State of New Jersey: There will still be at least one polling location available in every municipality in the state and each county will operate at at least 50% of its normal polling location capacity. But voters who do not receive a vote by mail ballot or who prefer to vote in person will cast a paper ballot at their designated polling location.
Who can vote by “machine” on Election Day?
Voters with certified disabilities that prevent them from voting by paper ballot will have access to a voting assistance device.
If I haven’t received a ballot in the mail, and I am not eligible to vote by voting assistance device on Election Day, how do I vote?
Those who show up to vote without a mailed paper ballot and who are not certified disabled and therefore not eligible to vote via an assistance device will be given a Provisional Ballot. That paper ballot will allow you to vote, but it will be counted last, (After November 10th) so election authorities can first check whether you are registered to vote in this election or had voted more than once.
How do I know my mailed or dropped off ballot has reached the Board of Elections?
You can track it at Track My Ballot. Just create a login.
When will we know the results of the Nov. 3rd national, state and local elections?
There has been widespread speculation, and concern, that mail-in voting will greatly slow down the counting process and could drag out election results for days or even weeks. Americans can also expect legal challenges in many states; cuts in United States Postal Services could also slow down mail processing; and glitches arising from the new voting procedures also can be expected – especially if turnout is very high and there are substantially more ballots to count than usual. This is why authorities are urging voters to cast their ballots as soon as they are able, ahead of Election Day. Many voters throughout the United States seem to be heeding the call, with millions of votes already cast a month ahead of the elections. While that may prove helpful in expediting the count, it also indicates a large number of new voters, and a high turnout, which could overwhelm the postal service and existing election systems. Voting early could mitigate the impact.
This article and video provide a good overview of the counting process: Article on Ballot Counting
Where can I get more information about voting in New Jersey?
These sites offer more information on registration and voting:
This national, nonpartisan group provides information and addresses voting problems: Election Protection
Below are a few good overview articles:
Election Questions Answered
Article and Video on How Ballots Are Counted
You may also contact:
Commissioner of Registration: Wyatt Earp Address: 129 Hooper Avenue, PO Box 2006, Toms River, NJ 08754-2006. Office Hours: 8:00am-4:30pm. Phone:732-929-2167. (FAX) 732-506-5110. Website: http://www.co.ocean.nj.us/oc/elections/
Ocean County Clerk: Scott M. Colabella Address: Court House, P.O. Box 2191, 118 Washington Street, Toms River, NJ 08754-2191. Office Hours: 8:00am-4:30pm. Phone: 732-929-2018. (FAX) 732-349-4336. Website: http://www.oceancountyclerk.com/
Board of Elections. Address: 129 Hooper Avenue, P.O. Box 2006, Toms River, NJ 08754-2006. Office Hours: 8:00am-4:30pm. Phone: 732-929-2167. (FAX) 732-506-5110. Website: http://www.co.ocean.nj.us/oc/elections/