Author: Angela Rosa

Real ID deadline extended for New Jersey

The October 10, 2018 deadline for New Jersey to comply with the Real ID Act has been extended again — this time until October 10, 2019.

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), New Jersey has been granted another extension for REAL ID enforcement, allowing Federal agencies to accept driver licenses and identification cards from New Jersey at Federal facilities, nuclear power plants and federally regulated commercial aircraft until October 10, 2019.

After October 10, 2019 NJ citizens will need more than their state-issued driver license to board domestic flights.

Other federally accepted forms of I.D. for domestic air travel include the U.S. Passport Book or Passport Card. Travelers who do not already possess a U.S. Passport may want to consider applying for one or both. The Passport Book also allows you to fly internationally, while the Passport Card limits you to domestic air travel and/or international travel by land or sea ports of entry.

Your County Clerk’s Office is a certified U.S. Passport Acceptance Facility and can assist you with the application process. Visit our Passport Page for more information on what’s needed to apply for a U.S. Passport Book or Card.

Visit DHS for possible NJ extension updates and to learn more about REAL ID.

Voter Concerns Over Mass Mailings of Vote-By-Mail Applications

“Our office and county clerks’ offices throughout New Jersey have been inundated with emails, personal visits, and phone calls from voters concerned about recent mailings by political action organizations.

“County clerks received word last month that a democracy project would be sending out mailings to New Jersey voters to encourage voter participation by mail.

“These mailings are not from your county clerk, they are being sent by the Voter Participation Center and The Center for Voter Information – both of Trenton, as well as from various candidate campaigns. The mailings contain a personalized mail-in ballot application pre-filled with the voter’s name and address in the hope that the voter will sign the application and return it in the postage-paid envelope addressed to the County Clerk for processing a mail-in ballot to the voter.

“This type of marketing effort is not new; both major political parties have been doing so for years. The data come from the Statewide Voter Registration System under the direction of the New Jersey Division of Elections in the Department of State.

“There is no prohibition under the law for providing voter data to marketers who use it for political purposes.

“What voters should know:

  • If you complete the application, sign it and return it in the postage-paid envelope, the County Clerk will check your signature against the signature from your voter registration file and approve or disapprove the application.  If approved, a mail-in ballot will be mailed to you at the address indicated.  If disapproved an explanatory letter will be mailed.
  • Please note in Box 1 the voter may select the option of receiving a Mail-In Ballot for (a) ALL FUTURE ELECTIONS or (b) for ONLY ONE election.  If no box is checked our office will send approved voters a mail-in ballot for the Nov. 6 election only.
  • If you want to continue to vote on the voting machine on election day DO NOT sign the pre-filled Application for a Mail-in Ballot and DO NOT send it to the County Clerk.
  • Active voters who have an approved mail-in ballot application on file from the 2016 General (Presidential) Election will be sent a mail-In ballot for ALL FUTURE ELECTIONS unless they OPT OUT in writing to the County Clerk.  This is mandated by P.L. 2018 c. 72.  The roughly 4,200 Sussex County voters affected by this mandate have been notified by letter from the County Clerk to inform them of their options.
  • Voters who receive a mail-in ballot should vote that ballot and return it as soon as possible to the Board of Elections.  The new law allows that every mail-in ballot bearing a postmark dated on or before Election Day and is received by the Board of Elections within 48 hours of the closing of the polls shall be considered valid and counted.
  • Voters who were sent a mail-in ballot MAY NOT vote on the voting machine on Election Day. If they go to their polling place they will be given a provisional ballot, which is the same as the paper ballot they were mailed; as a matter of convenience and to avoid delays at the polls, these voters should vote the ballot they were mailed.
  • Sample ballots will be delivered by Nov. 2. All active voters will receive a sample ballot in the mail during the week before the election. The sample ballot will show all the races, candidates, and questions for which the voter may cast a ballot in this election and will list the voter’s polling location and hours. Samples of the mail-in ballots are posted to the County Clerk’s website for viewing.

“The approaching Nov. 6 General Election is a supercharged mid-term federal election for Congress that, together with a rush by our governor in August to mandate significant changes to the mail-in ballot law, the frenzy of events taking place in Washington, and the  use of technology to gain personal data to reach people has heightened voter awareness statewide.

“I can assure you that the County Clerk’s Office and the Board of Elections are ready to meet the challenges of this election. We are diligent in our processes and are carefully observing the laws and procedures to prevent voter fraud.

“We work closely with the Division of Elections and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to ensure our elections remain safe and secure for the voters.”

For more information utilize our website www.sussexcountyclerk.org  or call 973-579-0900, ext. 1507.

Vote By Mail Options have changed!

On August 10, 2018, new legislation went into effect that changes the options voters have when voting by mail, AND, IMPORTANTLY, changes the way SOME voters have been assigned to vote in future elections. If you voted by mail in the 2016 General Election, the new law has assigned you to be a “Vote-By-Mail Voter” — unless you notify your county clerk in writing that you want to be removed from the permanent vote-by-mail list.

A law signed by Governor Murphy on August 10, 2018 mandates that any voter who requested and received a Vote By Mail Ballot for the 2016 General Election be put on a list to automatically receive Vote By Mail ballots for all future elections, beginning with the upcoming November 6 General Election.

2016 Voters who fall into this category but do not wish to receive mail-in ballots for every election in the future will be able to “opt out” by notifying the County Clerk in writing that they no longer wish to receive Vote By Mail ballots for all future elections. These voters still have the option of Voting By Mail in any election of their choosing, but will have to submit an application for a Vote By Mail Ballot whenever they choose to do so.

There is no longer an option to request mail-in ballots for the calendar year, or to request mail-in ballots for all General Elections only. The two options now offered in NJ are:

  1. Vote by mail in ALL FUTURE ELECTIONS (which means you are no longer eligible to vote on the voting machines at the polls); or
  2. Request a mail-in ballot for a SINGLE election whenever you wish to vote by mail.

Click here to download the updated Application For Vote By Mail Ballot.  Click here for answers to popular questions about how the new law affects voters.

New Jersey’s Real I.D. extension set to expire Oct. 10, 2018

New Jersey residents who plan to travel by air on domestic flights on or after October 10th should make sure they have adequate I.D. before heading to the airport.

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), New Jersey has had an extension for REAL ID enforcement, allowing Federal agencies to accept driver licenses and identification cards from New Jersey at Federal facilities, nuclear power plants and federally regulated commercial aircraft until October 10, 2018.

Unless the federal government affords New Jersey another extension, beginning October 10 NJ citizens will need more than their state-issued driver license to board domestic flights.

Other federally accepted forms of I.D. for domestic air travel include the U.S. Passport Book or Passport Card. Travelers who do not already possess a U.S. Passport may want to consider applying for one or both. The Passport Book also allows you to fly internationally, while the Passport Card limits you to domestic air travel and/or international travel by land or sea ports of entry.

Your County Clerk’s Office is a certified U.S. Passport Acceptance Facility and can assist you with the application process. Visit our Passport Page for more information on what’s needed to apply for a U.S. Passport Book or Card.

Visit DHS for possible NJ extension updates and to learn more about REAL ID.

 

NOTICE OF BALLOT DRAW

The ballot draw for candidate position on Sussex County’s 2018 General Election ballot (including school board) will be held on Mon., August 13 in the County Clerk’s conference room. Candidates and members of the public are welcome to attend the draw, which begins promptly at 3 p.m.

Homebuyers, title agents beware of scams…

FYI — The NJCCIC continues to receive reports from members involved in real estate transactions – including agents, lawyers, title agencies, and buyers – detailing incidents in which they were targets of profit-motivated hackers who attempted to defraud them out of thousands of dollars. In a recent incident, hackers impersonated a title agency by spoofing their email address and sent wire transfer instructions to homebuyers requesting their closing costs. In similar schemes, hackers have targeted and gained access to the legitimate email accounts of real estate agents, title agency representatives, paralegals, or homebuyers via compromised account credentials and then used their accounts to send convincing emails to targeted victims. The subject and body of these emails often portray a sense of urgency in an attempt to have targets immediately wire money before they have an opportunity to fully review the email’s content and question its legitimacy. In most cases, these scams are relatively simple for the criminals to conduct, but the consequences can be devastating. The NJCCIC recommends homebuyers and real estate entities educate themselves and others on these malicious tactics and remain vigilant during and immediately after the closing process. We highly recommend real estate businesses, including real estate attorneys and title agencies, implement new policies aimed at preventing fraudulent wire transfers and other scams. For example, including disclaimers in email signatures warning the recipient of these scams, and forbidding the sharing of wire transfer account information via email and instead utilize video chat applications, phone calls from trusted numbers, or in-person meetings. Additionally, homebuyers should never trust email as the sole source of instruction for wiring money related to these transactions and instead receive confirmation of these details in person or over the phone.

 

New Law Allows Slogans for School Board Candidates

Effective immediately, school board candidates are permitted to have slogans appear with their name on the November General Election ballot. Much like independent candidates that participate in the General Election, school board candidate slogans are limited to three words and cannot contain the name of any party participating in New Jersey’s primary elections. The same law also permits school board candidates to file joint petitions and share the same slogan. For more information about the new law, please call the Clerk’s Office at 973-579-0900, ext. 1501.