Burlington County Clerk advises residents of change to Vote by Mail law

According to Burlington County Clerk Timothy Tyler, on Aug. 10 Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation that may affect some who choose to vote from home.

The bi-partisan Bill S-685/A-4306 reduces the number of voters for whom a person can serve as authorized messenger, and limits the number of voted mail-in ballots transmittable by a bearer, to three.

The bill also changes the standard and severity of charges for violations of provisions of the vote by mail law.

“My office has already updated the information on our website to reflect this new change and the new Vote by Mail application can be found there as well,” Tyler said. “This change is likely to affect those who receive assistance in delivering their voted ballot back to the Board of Elections office.”

An “authorized messenger” is a registered voter or family member designated by a voter, who votes by mail, to pick up a ballot from the County Clerk’s office and delivers it to the voter to vote. Formerly, a person was permitted to act as messenger for 10 voters, but the new legislation changed that limit to a maximum of three.

A “bearer” is the person who assists in the mailing or the personal delivery of a voter’s mail-in ballot to the board of election. No person is permitted to serve as a bearer for more than three qualified voters in an election and if the bearer will be hand delivering the voted ballot to the Board of Elections, the bearer will need to provide ID.

The updated information and Vote by Mail application can be found on the County Clerk website www.co.burlington.nj.us/countyclerk, the NJ Division of Elections Website and in the County Clerk’s office. Voters are advised to recycle all previous versions of the Vote by Mail applications as they are now obsolete and replace them with the new application found on the County website with a revision mark of “NJ Division of Elections — 08/15”. For additional information, please contact the County Clerk Elections department at (609) 265–5229.