procedures for November elections?

Not sure if anybody has heard anything from the township about how the general elections in the fall will be handled.   Are we to crowd into the polling places as usual?  Are we all to be mailed mail in ballots?  Or are we supposed to register for such a thing?

It may sound way too early to be worrying about this but I have heard some news its that depending on plans to be made that time is growing very short now to be ready by Election Day.   Just thought should throw it out there as I see nothing on the Township website.   Perhaps a member of the Township Council could be prevailed upon to share  with us what the thinking is, or if there is a process decided on.


FWIW, here in Queensland Australia we have Statewide elections at the same time. Yesterday the Electoral Commission of Queensland issued its call for expressions of interest for workers, but as yet hasn’t updated its site on election logistics. 
We were trialling electronic voting in March (vote online, from home) for some local government areas however the site kept crashing. I truly doubt that’s going to work properly this time around. Early voting presented problems with tallying on election night, as again, the systems kept falling over; during early in-person voting it was hard to enforce distancing and mask-wearing.
We usually allow postal voting, but in March we had problems with delivery of ballots to voters, given reduced postal services in regional and remote areas. I expect that’s going to be worse now unless we ask the military to assist. (We’ve lost airlines and secure courier companies) 

As an election worker here, I’m curious to see what processes you select, and how they’re backed up. 


It’s not a municipal decision. State will make the call. 


I was going to apply for a mail in ballot, but now that Trump is in the process of dismantling the post office I worry about my vote not being counted.

I’m in a pretty small town now so for the past two elections the polls were never crowded at all.  But even for non-presidential election years a town like Maplewood would have trouble with social distancing for an election.  A presidental year, all bets are off.  I remember in 2008 the line to vote at Clinton School was so long that I was an hour late for work.  Fortunately my supervisor was understanding and told me to come in when I was finished, no rush.  I can’t imagine that much of a turn out combined with a virus.   There is no way a vaccine will be approved and successfully given to the majority of citizens prior to Election Day.


For the Primary ballots were automatically mailed to all voters. Anyone who did not receive a ballot could request one on line as I recall and perhaps by calling the Bd. of Elections. There were also 3 or 4 Polling Places in Maplewood. I am pretty sure the arrangements will be the same for the General Election.

I would like to see locations set up by the Board of Elections where voters can drop off their paper ballots rather than waiting in line to vote by machine.

I also would like to see Fed Ex and UPS step up and greatly reduce prices for ballots sent to the Bd. of Elections.


Also, regarding live voting, there is concern about how many poll workers are willing to risk their lives for a 12 hour job, paying crap wages. Consider the age of most poll workers and the added C-19 threat their age brings.

Actually, probably a 13 -14 hour job.


Hearty second for drop boxes.

For poll worker shortage, in Wis they used National Guard at polling sites in April and are doing so again now in August (don't ask about the number of elections!), so probably in Nov. too. 

Really all you need is one or two strong experienced people at each location.  With just 2 or 3 hours' training, new recruits can handle all the routine work (99%) and refer the exceptions (1%?) to the lead person.

Personally, I'd apply for an absentee (= mail-in) ballot as soon as available, and return it by hand to town clerk's office or drop box.  I realize some people will be dependent on mailing, hope for the best, sigh.


Yes mjc.  Point taken.  If one is concerned then send the form in now as plenty of time for November.   I didn't know anybody at all could do that, but did a search and here is the form for Essex County.

https://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/assets/pdf/forms-vote-by-mail/vote-mail-ballot-essex-english.pdf


Essex County has drop boxes.  I dropped my ballot at the drop box by the Zoo.


Steve said:

Essex County has drop boxes.  I dropped my ballot at the drop box by the Zoo.

 Those of us who don't drive need to have something closer.


joan_crystal said:

 Those of us who don't drive need to have something closer.

True.  You could ask a friend to drop the ballot off for you.  Also, I don't know what other options, if any, are available for drop off. If you are going to mail it in, mail it in early.


A drop box by the zoo. There should be two at least in the smaller towns and more in larger cities.

These save money, the postage on the return.


Just saw a blip on the news that NJ has decided to mail everybody a ballot automatically.   (Steve said it was a state decision.)   To some of the other comments here, sounded like they will make sure there are 10 drop boxes throughout each county (so should not be just the zoo).   Doubt they've given specific locations any thought yet.   If anybody sees a list of specific site on some election board site then please post here.


this pdf has the drop off locations as of July for the whole state



Nothing listed for Maplewood or South Orange.  Last I heard, TC was pushing for at least one drop off box in Maplewood.  I have also heard a proposal to have a drop off box at each vote in person site.  


What if the town offered to buy one for itself? How much can one cost?

Place it in front of the police building or in the village by the train station.


Formerlyjerseyjack said:

What if the town offered to buy one for itself? How much can one cost?

Place it in front of the police building or in the village by the train station.

 Current plan is to place the drop off box by the police station, which has the required camera monitoring equipment, if the town gets one.  Plan also calls for allowing voters to hand in their by mail ballot at their polling place on Election Day.


The governor declared this week that all registered voters would be sent mail in ballots. The ballots can be mailed in or dropped off in designated locations in each county, including the County Clerks' offices.

This is all a work in progress, but for the primary election this year there were a number of drop off locations throughout the county, and local elected officials are working with the County Clerk's office to designate a drop off location in Maplewood. There will also be at least one location in Maplewood for those who wish to vote in person, or to drop off their mail in ballot that day.

Please continue to watch the County Clerk's website as further details are worked out and developed. Thank you.


At least 4 NJ counties have passed resolutions rejecting the move to all mail in voting. Is this just bluster on their part or does it mean anything for the voters in those counties? Here is Sussex County's resolution.

https://www.njherald.com/news/20200814/sussex-county-freeholders-reject-all-mail-in-voting-in-november


wedjet said:

At least 4 NJ counties have passed resolutions rejecting the move to all mail in voting. Is this just bluster on their part or does it mean anything for the voters in those counties? Here is Sussex County's resolution.

https://www.njherald.com/news/20200814/sussex-county-freeholders-reject-all-mail-in-voting-in-november

 What exactly is Sussex County objecting to?  NJ is not proposing to have an all mail in voting process for the November election. Voters throughout the State will be given the option of either (1) voting by mail; (2) depositing their ballot in a secure/monitored drop box; or (3) either handing in their ballot at a designated polling place on Election Day or casting a provisional ballot at that location on that day.  


A bill awaiting Murphy's signature would mandate 10 drop boxes for every municipality with more than 5000 people.

https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/08/28/nj-election-2020-bill-would-expand-use-ballot-drop-boxes/5645841002/


Here's the new NJ voter portal.

https://www.nj.gov/state/elections/vote.shtml

You can double check your registration status.

It also lists all the ballot drop boxes. One will be at the Maplewood Police Station. One will be at the gazebo in front of the South Orange fire department. 

Be very careful filling out your mail-in ballot. If anyone other than you will be mailing it or dropping it off you must fill out a special section and sign it. Best thing is to mail or drop it off yourself.


I have a silly issue. I'm not sure if I used my middle initial on my voting signature. How do I find that out? Will they invalidate my ballot if my middle initial doesn't match?


drummerboy said:

I have a silly issue. I'm not sure if I used my middle initial on my voting signature. How do I find that out? Will they invalidate my ballot if my middle initial doesn't match?

I'm not really sure. My signature has changed a bit in the 20 years since I last submitted a registration form. I always wonder if it's changed enough. 

Another nice thing on the new portal is the ability to confirm your mail-in ballot was received. But i don't know if they confirm that it was validated. 

Please everyone, if you're new to mail-in voting follow the instructions to the letter. You don't want your ballot invalidated because of a missing signature or outer envelope.


drummerboy said:

A bill awaiting Murphy's signature would mandate 10 drop boxes for every municipality with more than 5000 people.

https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/08/28/nj-election-2020-bill-would-expand-use-ballot-drop-boxes/5645841002/

 That's tough with the rule about security cameras for those boxes.  I think I read that's why Maplewood's is planned for the police station and that it was the only candidate location in town for that reason (?)


The interview Jamie did with chris Durkin is very helpful in regards to the election.


drummerboy said:

I have a silly issue. I'm not sure if I used my middle initial on my voting signature. How do I find that out? Will they invalidate my ballot if my middle initial doesn't match?

 When you go to the portal to verify your registration, the full name currently associated with your registration will display.  Doing this, I learned that my middle initial is listed so I will use it on my mail in ballot.


joan_crystal said:

drummerboy said:

I have a silly issue. I'm not sure if I used my middle initial on my voting signature. How do I find that out? Will they invalidate my ballot if my middle initial doesn't match?

 When you go to the portal to verify your registration, the full name currently associated with your registration will display.  Doing this, I learned that my middle initial is listed so I will use it on my mail in ballot.

 I'm afraid that doesn't prove how you signed. My signature is always with my full middle name (not just initial), so I have no uncertainty about how I signed. But the portal lists only the initial.


sac said:

joan_crystal said:

drummerboy said:

I have a silly issue. I'm not sure if I used my middle initial on my voting signature. How do I find that out? Will they invalidate my ballot if my middle initial doesn't match?

 When you go to the portal to verify your registration, the full name currently associated with your registration will display.  Doing this, I learned that my middle initial is listed so I will use it on my mail in ballot.

 I'm afraid that doesn't prove how you signed. My signature is always with my full middle name (not just initial), so I have no uncertainty about how I signed. But the portal lists only the initial.

Yeah, my guess is that if my name is listed with the MI on the voter book, I probably put the MI in the signature. I definitely never use my full middle name.



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