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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Oct 22, 2020

Monmouth County Officials Give Important Information Regarding Election Day

By Lori Draz

In a press conference held today, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders and Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon detailed the mail balloting system and offered advice to those worried about their vote’s status.

The panel candidly discussed county residents’ confusion and concerns over the certainty of their votes being counted. They also recommended that people should drop off ballots in person, rather than relying on the postal service as of this date, since if there is a delivery error, there may not be time enough to correct it.

The office has been flooded with calls and visitors. The speakers shared a bipartisan agreement that Monmouth County is working at peak to ensure accuracy. They have hired additional staff to process requests for ballots, register, open and count all ballots received and assist voters who have experienced difficulty with their ballots. Some of those difficulties detailed include ballots being delivered to incorrect or outdated addresses, lost and duplicated ballots, ballots sent to the same person but with different names. Other issues upon receipt include illegible signatures and ballots filled out incorrectly. County officials said they are making every possible effort to reconnect with voters whose ballots are rejected so they can be given a chance to redo their ballot.

Ballots may be dropped off at numerous official ballot drop locations and at the Elections Headquarters in Freehold, where there is also a ballot box. Boxes are emptied daily by a team and delivered to the headquarters where they will be held until counting begins. A list of official sites is available on the country’s website.

Additionally, the panel reinforced that people should vote early. Only disabled and blind voters can use electronic booths on Election Day. All other in-person voters will have to wait in line to use a paper provisional ballot which is a duplicate of those received in homes. Voters may choose to fill in the ballot they received and deliver it to the polling place, but it will just be put in the same ballot box available now.

All ballots cast on Election Day will be counted last.

The Election Board will begin counting the ballots they have already received this weekend. Each ballot will be opened in the presence of a Republican and Democrat, and new technology will assist in the recording.

To help calm concerned voters, the Monmouth County Board of Elections is launching a supplemental system to help residents know when their ballots have been received by the County Board of Elections for counting.

The ballot tracking system “Monmouth County BallotTrax” provides online ballot tracking and status notifications to voters. Voters can sign up for the County BallotTrax at monmouthcounty.ballottrax.net and enable notifications via call, email or text message. Voters will then receive an alert of when their ballots have been received by the County Board of Elections.

This new system comes in response to complaints that numerous voters have experienced difficulty signing up for the State Division of Elections’ ballot tracking website. Therefore, county election officials hope that the new Monmouth County BallotTrax will act as a supplemental system to ease voters’ anxiety regarding whether their ballots have been received for counting.

Voters should log onto the website to sign up for the Monmouth County BallotTrax system.

For questions about the returning of mail-in ballots for counting, contact the County Board of Elections at 732-431-7802.

For questions about the issuance of mail-in ballots, contact the County Clerk’s Election Office at 732-431-7790.

The county will post updated ballot counts as they are recorded, but officials stress doing so depends on when all ballots, including those cast on Election Day, are received. This process could extend the counting timelines to late November, they said.

For information regarding the State-mandated 2020 General Election process, visit MonmouthCountyVotes.com.