For voters who prefer to deposit their voted ballot in a secure drop box instead of mailing it, the following five locations have been designated to deposit ballots for the July 7, 2020 Primary Election:
1. Vernon Township Municipal Building
2. Hardyston Township Municipal Building
3. Sparta Township Municipal Building
4. Hopatcong Borough Municipal Building
5. Newton Town Municipal Building
The ballot boxes will be monitored (security camera surveillance) and will have daily pickups by the County Board of Elections.
Unaffiliated registered voters in New Jersey are all going to receive an Application To Vote By Mail from their County Clerk.
The application mailed by your County Clerk was designed by the NJ Division of Elections under Executive Order #144 and is specific to the July 7, 2020 Primary Elections. If you are an unaffiliated voter and you want to vote by mail in the July 7 Primary, you need to complete and return this EO#144 application as soon as possible — EVEN IF YOU ALREADY submitted a regular Vote By Mail Ballot Application. The regular application used to request a mail-in ballot cannot be used for the July 7 primaries. The EO#144 application will not cost the voter anything to mail, it comes in the form a prepaid postage mailer.
Under normal conditions, unaffiliated voters could apply for a Vote By Mail Ballot and not declare a party choice.
However, the July 7 Primary Elections are not being conducted under normal conditions. On May 15, 2020 Governor Murphy issued Executive Order #144 which stipulated in part that unaffiliated voters would be mailed a special Vote By Mail Application by their County Clerk. This special application only applies to the July 7 primary. The application requires that the voter declare a party in advance of being mailed their ballot, so that only one ballot is mailed. So, if you are unaffiliated and want to receive a mail-in ballot, you MUST complete and return the Special Application issued under Executive Order #144 in order to receive a ballot by mail.
The application to vote by mail under Executive Order #144 is a one-time request specific to the July 7 Primaries; you will not be required to vote by mail in future elections.
Unaffiliated voters who do not receive a mail-in ballot can vote a provisional paper ballot at their assigned polling place on Election Day.
On August 28, 2019 Governor Murphy signed into law a bill that amended the 2018 Vote By Mail law and mandates that our office send a Vote By Mail* Ballot for the upcoming November 5 General Election to any voter who requested and received a Vote By Mail Ballot in any election held in 2017 or 2018. (S4069/A5759 P.L. 2019 c. 265)
*Vote By Mail Ballot includes paper ballots voted in person at the County Clerk’s Office.
This same law also mandates that our office automatically issue this group of voters a Vote By Mail Ballot in ALL FUTURE ELECTIONS — unless the voter informs our office in writing that they do not wish to receive Vote By Mail Ballots for all future elections.
Approximately 3,000 Sussex County voters are affected by this change in law. IF YOU ARE AFFECTED by the law, you should have received a notice from our office in mid-September advising you of your new “vote-by-mail status.” Our notice also included a form for you to “opt out” of remaining on this automatic vote-by-mail list. If you prefer to vote at the polls on Election Day, you should complete the “Opt Out” form and return it to the County Clerk’s Office by Sept. 25th. If you cannot meet that deadline, simply call our office ASAP to explain you want to opt off the list, but that your form will be arriving after the 25th. We will do our best to accommodate you. You should know that if you are mailed a Vote By Mail Ballot, you will not be permitted to vote on the voting machines at your polling place (because the poll book will show that you already received a mail-in ballot). The poll worker can only issue you a provisional ballot, which is essentially the same paper ballot that was mailed to you.
The Clerk’s Office is here to serve you. If you want to remain on the list to automatically receive mail-in ballots for all future elections, then you don’t need to do anything except sit back and wait for your ballot to arrive in the mail. However, if you prefer to vote at the polls, you must complete the Opt Out form and mail it back to our office ASAP so that we can remove your name from the automatic mailing list. Voters who “opt out” of receiving automatic ballots for every election, still reserve the right to request a mail-in ballot for any singular election of their choosing.
NOTE: If you are scheduled to receive a mail-in ballot automatically, but for some reason you do not receive your ballot in the mail, please call our office so we can look into your situation. We begin mailing ballots 45 days prior to Election Day. Please allow 5-7 days for delivery. Call 973-579-0900, ext. 1507 for more information.