NEW JERSEY – A comprehensive education campaign, NEW JERSEY VOTES, to educate on the upcoming Nov. 3 General Election was launched Thursday by Governor Phil Murphy, New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way, and the State’s Division of Elections.
“As the pandemic continues to threaten our public health, we have made adjustments to the upcoming election to provide every New Jersey voter the opportunity to safely cast their vote,” said Murphy. “With today’s education campaign launch, we are ensuring that New Jerseyans are aware of every voting option and additional resources that are available for this year’s General Election.”
Starting this week, the NEW JERSEY VOTES education campaign, which includes multi-media promotion and a new Vote.NJ.Gov website, will help answer questions about registering to vote, voting by mail, tracking ballots, finding secure ballot drop boxes, voting in-person and more.
The education campaign is especially designed to help voters understand the vote by mail process, which was decreed through an executive order and signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy for the safety of the state’s voters in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Way, voters can feel confident that the election process will be safe, simple, and secure.
“We’re launching the New Jersey Votes education campaign to ensure every New Jerseyan feels comfortable and well informed about the voting process,” said Way. “For 2020, all active registered voters in New Jersey will automatically receive their ballots in the mail. Then it’s as easy as vote, sign, seal, return. How you return it is up to you—at the post office, in a secure ballot drop box, at your county Board of Elections office, or at your polling place.”
The NEW JERSEY VOTES education campaign will be in multiple languages through advertisements in print and digital outlets, billboards, and collateral materials, as well as through TV and radio commercials airing throughout the state. The state government’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts will regularly share posts highlighting how to vote by mail.
Among the information being shared in the education campaign are key deadlines for the voting process. By Oct. 5, New Jersey’s County Clerks must send a Vote By Mail Ballot to all registered active voters.
“Once you have received your ballot, if you know how you are voting, there is no need to wait,” said Way. “We’re making it very easy and encouraging everyone to vote by mail as soon as they receive their ballot rather than having to wait until Election Day itself. However, if you prefer to drop off your ballot in a secure local drop box or in-person, you can certainly do so.”
Voters should read the instructions on their ballot carefully, and then vote. Here is how:
Place the voted ballot inside the provided interior envelope and SIGN the envelope on the signature line. Do not detach the certificate from the envelope.
SEAL the signed envelope inside the provided mailing envelope, and SEAL that envelope.
RETURN the ballot. Voters have several choices in how to return their ballot: by mail (return postage is prepaid for all voters), in one of their county’s secure ballot drop boxes, at their Board of Elections office, or at their local polling location by 8:00 p.m. EST on Election Day.
If voters choose to return their ballot by mail, they should be mindful of the delivery delays experienced across the country and mail their ballot well before Election Day if possible.
Voters can check on the status of their vote by mail ballot online at TrackMyBallot.NJ.Gov.
“By staying home and voting by mail, we can participate in our democracy while doing our part to keep our fellow voters and our election workers safe on Nov. 3,” said Murphy.
The deadline to register to vote for this general election is Oct. 13. New Jersey now offers online registration at https://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/voter-registration.shtml. Those unsure of their registration status can check at https://voter.svrs.nj.gov/registration-check.
If voters need assistance or have any questions, their local, county, and state election officials are available to help. Voters can reach out to their County Clerk, County Board of Elections, County Superintendent of Elections, or call the state voter information/protection hotline at 1-877-NJVOTER (1-877-658- 6837).
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This article originally appeared on the Long Valley Patch