Mayor’s Message: Election Day 2020

All registered voters will automatically be sent a VBM ballot beginning the week of Sept. 21 through Oct. 5

“This right to vote is the basic right without which all others are meaningless. It gives people, people as individuals, control over their own destinies.”       Lyndon B. Johnson

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.  This year, Governor Murphy has ordered that the general election in New Jersey be conducted primarily by Vote-By-Mail (VBM) Ballots.

All registered voters will automatically be sent a VBM ballot beginning the week of Sept. 21 through Oct. 5. This year, no sample ballots will be sent out. Instead, voters will receive a postcard showing their polling location and a web address to find their sample ballot and drop box locations.

There will be limited polling places on Election Day which will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. where voters can only vote by Provisional (paper) Ballots. Voting machines will be available for disabled voters who are unable to vote via a paper ballot. The limited locations have not yet been determined by the Camden County Board of Elections (BOE). Once the locations are determined, we will post the information on all social media and in my future Mayor’s Column.

If a VBM ballot is rejected by the BOE due to a signature issue or any other problem, the voter must be notified within 48 hours of the discovery of the defect. The voter is then given the ability to cure the problem, but the cure must be completed 48 hours prior to the final certification.

Voters have several options for returning VBM ballots. Simply return the ballot in the mail with the postage paid envelope provided. Your mailed ballot will only be counted if it is received with a post mark on or before Nov. 3. There will also be ballot drop boxes throughout the County, including one in Voorhees located in front of Town Hall, 2400 Voorhees Town Center. All drop boxes are available 24 hours a day in well-lit locations under video surveillance. Finally, your ballot can be dropped off at the BOE, 100 University Court, Blackwood, during normal business hours.

VBM ballots will be counted first, starting up to 10 days prior to Election Day, and counting will continue daily. Results of the VBM ballots cannot be released prior to the close of the polls. In person ADA machines will be tallied after the close of the polls. Provisional ballots require a verification after all VBM Ballots have been received, hence all in-person votes will be counted last.

Voters will be casting ballots to elect the President of the United States, one United States Senator, one Member of the United States House of Representatives, one County Surrogate, one County Freeholder to an unexpired term, two County Freeholders and two Voorhees Township Committee members. There are also three ballot questions, one of which asks whether voters approve amending the Constitution to legalize a controlled form of marijuana called “cannabis.”

The deadline to register to vote in this year’s election is Tuesday, Oct. 13.  Registration can be done online at nj.gov/state/elections. Registration applications can also be obtained online at camdencounty.com, from the Voorhees Municipal Clerk at Town Hall or at the Camden County Store in the Voorhees Town Center. If you have questions regarding this year’s voting procedures, you can email the BOE at camdencounty.com/vbm2 or call at (856) 407-8683. You can also contact the Voorhees Township Clerk at dober@voorheesnj.com or by phone at (856) 429-7757.

Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many changes in the election process. Please exercise your right to vote.

Every vote counts!