Author: Angela Rosa

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.

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.

Calling All School Board Candidates!

The New Jersey School Boards Association’s 2018 November Election Candidates Kit is now available for downloading; visit  NJSBA Candidates Kit.  Residents interested in board member candidacy can download the free kit, which includes information on:  Important Dates, How to Become a School Board Member, Frequently Asked Questions, Requirements of the New Jersey School Ethics Act, Criminal Background Checks, Campaign Reporting Requirements, Candidate Briefings.

Pursuant to S-868/A-2030 enacted on May 30, which allows board of education candidates to circulate a nominating petition jointly and to be bracketed together on the ballot, below are two sample petitions: one for an individual filing and one for joint filing.

Candidate Petition for School Board (individual)
Candidate Petition for School Board (joint)

School Board Candidate Petitions must be submitted to the County Clerk no later than 4 p.m. Monday, July 30th.

Passport Fee To Increase April 2

When applying for a U.S. Passport in person, an execution fee is charged by the accepting agency. The current fee imposed is $25 per application, but that fee is set to increase by $10 in April.

Effective April 2nd, the execution fee will be $35.00 per application, payable in cash only. Applications received prior to April 2nd will be assessed the $25 amount.