OCEAN COUNTY – Ocean County officials are making sure that every registered voter has the opportunity to cast their vote on Nov. 6.
If you are a registered voter but can’t make time to get out to the polls, fear not! The Ocean County Board of Elections are offering extended office hours to these voters, providing them the opportunity to obtain and cast a ballot in person at a one-stop convenient location.
“It’s important every registered voter have the opportunity to cast a ballot during the general election,” said Scott M. Colabella, Ocean County Clerk. “We anticipate that by extending hours at our different sites it will allow some people to vote who might not have been able.”
From Nov. 3 to Nov. 4, registered voters can apply, obtain, and cast their ballot in person at the Ocean County Board of Elections, located at 129 Hooper Ave., Lower Floor (Basement Level), Toms River. Assistance will be available from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. both days. Free parking is also available in the Ocean County Parking Garage.
“By providing weekend hours we can reach those voters who may have to work on Election Day and may not be in the area,” Colabella said. “We have offered this service for several years now and it has worked out well.”
Registered voters can also cast in-person ballots on:
- 30 to Nov. 2 at the Ocean County Southern Service Center, located at 179 South Main St., Manahawkin from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- 30 to Nov. 2 at the Ocean County Clerk’s Office at the Ocean County Courthouse, located at 118 Washington St., Toms River, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- 5, the Washington Street office will be open for in-person ballots from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.
“The Ocean County Clerk and Election Board are working in partnership to give everyone the opportunity to vote,” said Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, who serves as liaison to the County Clerk’s Office. “From weekend hours, use of the Ocean County Southern Service Center and more availability at the Courthouse, every effort is being made to make voting accessible and convenient for those citizens who can’t get to the polls on Election Day.”
All Vote by Mail Ballots sent through mail are due in by Oct. 30. After this date, voters must apply in person. The deadline for obtaining a ballot in person is 3 p.m., Monday, Nov. 5. After this, voters must obtain a court order from a Superior Court judge to apply for a ballot.
Vote by Mail Ballots have grown increasingly popular within the past few years, jumping from 12,540 ballots in the 2014 Midterm Election, to 38,479 ballots as of Oct. 26, 2018.
“We have issued the highest number of Vote by Mail ballots in Ocean County election history,” Colabella noted. “The number surpasses the previous highest amount which was issued for the 2016 Presidential election.
“A portion of the increase in Vote by Mail ballots can be attributed to the new election law signed by Gov. Murphy and implemented earlier in the fall which mandates that a vote by mail ballot be issued to all those that were issued them in the November 2016 general election,” Colabella said. “Unless a voter notified our office in writing stating they do not want a vote by mail ballot for this election, they received one as part of the new law.
“Voters who opted not to vote the Vote by Mail ballot can go to the polls and vote a provisional ballot on Election Day,” he added.
To view a copy of the sample ballot and polling location addresses for all 33 municipalities, visit oceancountyclerk.com or facebook.com/oceancountyclerk. For more information on Voting in Person, contact the County Clerk’s Office at 732-929-2018 or 732-929-2153.