Cumberland County Clerk Celeste Riley is reaching out county residents to make sure everyone is up to date on new measures designed to keep voters safe in the upcoming primary election.
With the continued risk posed by the coronavirus pandemic, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has announced that all registered Democratic and Republican voters will receive mail-in ballots with prepaid postage. Unaffiliated or inactive voters will first receive an application to apply as either a Democrat or Republican and then be sent the requested mail-in ballot with prepaid postage. This also applies to unaffiliated voters who signed up to receive ballots for “all future elections.”
“These are stressful times for everyone,” says Riley. “Our goal is to take some of the anxiety away for voters who are doing their best to stay socially distant while the virus is still a threat.”
Besides regular mailboxes, the county will have at least five secured drop boxes where voters can leave their ballots. Those locations are still being determined. Ballots can also be returned at the Board of Elections. All vote-by-mail ballots postmarked on or before July 7 and received by July 14 at 8 p.m. will be counted.
While this will be mostly a vote-by-mail election, the Governor’s executive order asks—where possible—at least one polling location in each municipality be open for voters who were unable to vote by mail. Their ballots will be via provisional paper ballot. Polling locations in Cumberland County will be made public in mid-June.
Anyone wanting to register to vote in the primary can still do so until June 16.
Riley encourages anyone with questions or who needs assistance to call the Clerk’s Office at 856-453-4860 or the Board of Elections at 856-453-5801.