Home Somerset rules Over 700K in NJ voted early – in some counties more than others

Over 700K in NJ voted early – in some counties more than others


TRENTON – Almost 11% of registered voters have already voted before Tuesday’s election, according to the state’s Elections Division.

The 703,199 votes represent nearly a third of the nearly 2.2 million votes cast in the 2017 governorate election.

The tally includes 495,336 people whose postal ballots were received on Sunday, 7.6% of registered voters and 207,863 who voted in person at 139 early polls open for nine days, or 3.2% of registered.

Early in-person voting ended on Sunday and Gov. Phil Murphy declared the program for the first time a success.

“Remember we don’t have any muscle memory in this state doing this. We’ve never done this before, so we always knew this was going to be the start of a journey,” Murphy said. “This is absolutely the right step to take, and I’m incredibly happy we took it.”

“If you tell me 207,000 advance votes in person over nine days, I think that’s a tremendous result,” he said. “And that’s next to just under 500,000 votes by mail, so you basically have 700,000 votes cast. It is a big step in the right direction in terms of democracy.

Early in-person voting may have cost as much as $ 60 million, although a final price has not been calculated. Much of that money was a one-time cost for new technologies such as electronic poll books and touchscreen voting machines that can display each elector’s neighborhood-specific ballot.

Secretary of State Tahesha Way said early voting may grow in the future, in the same way postal voting has become more popular.

“Success really gives voters all the options to participate in democracy and of course to modernize our electoral infrastructure,” Way said.

As of Sunday, the mail-in ballots had not been received from an estimated 461,000 people who requested them – mostly people who have registered in the past three years to receive mail-in ballots for all future elections.

Some of those ballots may have been received on Monday or are already in the mail. But Way said anyone who still intends to vote using a mail-in ballot should use an official drop box before 8 p.m. Tuesday or at their county election office and not rely on the US Postal Service to have it delivered before November 9. deadline for receipt of stamped ballot papers no later than November 2.

“You cannot, however, return your ballot to your local polling station,” Way said. “Poll workers will not be able to accept your completed ballot and cannot be responsible for it. “

People who did not receive the requested postal ballot or lost it can vote at their regular polling station on Tuesday, although they will vote via a provisional ballot. This ballot is counted after a week of waiting to ensure that a person has not also posted a ballot.

Registered Democrats cast more than 58% of the first ballots, overtaking Republicans everywhere except Cape May County. About 23% of the anticipated votes were cast by Republicans, around 19% by voters not affiliated with a party and 0.3% affiliated with one of the minor parties.

Monmouth County had the highest share of early in-person voters, as 6.5% of registered voters – or 31,835 out of nearly 492,000 – took advantage of the new program.

Four other counties also accounted for over 4% of their potential electorate: Cape May, Hunterdon, Somerset and Ocean counties.

Camden County had the smallest share of early in-person voters, as the 3,391 who voted this way represented just 0.8% of registered voters. However, Camden County – as is usually the case – has had the highest participation in the mail-in vote so far, 14.6% of registered voters.

The other counties in which less than 3% of eligible voters voted early in person were Bergen, Cumberland, Middlesex, Salem, Essex, Sussex and Union.

Only two counties besides Camden have so far seen at least 10% of registered voters vote by mail: Middlesex and Mercer.

The lowest turnout for postal voting was recorded in Hudson (4%), Passaic (4.4%) and Essex (5.2%) counties.

Turnout so far, combining mail voting and in-person advance voting, is highest in Camden County at 15.4%, followed by Cape May, Hunterdon and Somerset counties at 14.1 %. It is 8% or less in northeastern New Jersey – Passaic, Hudson, Essex and Bergen counties.

Middlesex County recorded the most votes, 74,169, followed by Monmouth, Camden, Bergen and Ocean. The combined votes of the six smaller counties – Salem, Cumberland, Warren, Sussex, Cape May and Hunterdon – are lower than those of Camden, Middlesex or Monmouth alone.

A few more early votes may have been cast, as state reports do not include data on how many people may have voted early by provisional ballots, which will only be counted as one. week after polling day. This data was not transmitted from the counties to the state.

Polling stations are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Michael Symons is the State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at michael.symons@townsquaremedia.com.

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