More than 200,000 mail-in ballots returned in Burlington County

The 200,000 ballots are more than the in-person voting total for the 2018 congressional midterms.

On the eve of Election Day, Burlington County election officials are readying polling locations for in-person ballot collection and provisional ballot voting while continuing to process a historic number of vote-by-mail ballots.

As of Monday, more than 200,000 ballots have been returned, a total surpassing the in-person machine count from the 2018 congressional midterms. The total also exceeds the 85,000 mail-in ballots returned during this year’s primary election, which was also conducted largely as a vote-by-mail election and all other previous elections, including the 2018 midterms when 25,997 mail-in ballots were cast in the county.

Total participation in this year’s election could rival the 2008 election when a record 224,740 voters cast ballots, or about 80 percent of the county’s registered voters.

“Despite all the changes, it’s heartening to see our county’s voters are not standing on the sidelines and that they are able to safely and securely cast their ballots,” said Burlington County Clerk Joanne Schwartz. “This is shaping up to be a historic election year and I encourage anyone who has not done so already, to complete and submit their ballots.”

Registered voters who have not received a ballot can obtain one in-person at the Burlington County Clerk’s Office at 50 Rancocas Road in Mount Holly. The office will open at 6 a.m. Tuesday and remain open until polls close at 8 p.m. Voters can also go to their polling location to complete a provisional paper ballot.

All ballots must be postmarked before 8 p.m. Tuesday or submitted to the Burlington County Election Board either in-person at their office, which is also at 50 Rancocas Road, or via secure drop boxes. On Election Day, voters can also personally deliver completed ballots at their assigned polling locations or vote with a provisional paper ballot. As of now, voters who have not submitted their ballots yet should consider using the drop boxes and in-person delivery options rather than rely on the Postal Service.

Only disabled voters who are unable to sign a paper provisional ballot will be permitted to use the ADA accessible machines at polling locations. All others who choose to vote in-person at the polls will be given a provisional ballot.

For voters who wish to either vote at the polls on a provisional ballot or return their mail-in ballots to their polling place, it is recommended that they verify their polling place by either checking the address on their polling location postcard, or the complete list of polling locations online at www.co.burlington.nj.us/297/Election-Board

Access to polling locations will be restricted to certified poll workers and challengers, as well as voters coming to deliver their mail-in ballots or cast their votes via provisional ballots.

Politicking within 100 feet of a polling location or doing anything to interfere with proceedings or intimidate voters will not be tolerated.

Voters coming to the polls are reminded to wear masks or face coverings and remain socially distant where possible.

“We’re asking voters to be patient and courteous to their fellow voters and the poll workers who are present,” said Burlington County Election Board Chairman Joe Dugan. “The coronavirus is still very active, so we want everyone to be aware and do their part to help protect everyone’s health and safety.”

Polling locations will close at 8 PM. Anyone standing in line waiting to vote at that time will be permitted to do so.

Results are expected to be posted online on the County’s website at www.co.burlington.nj.us