New Jersey election officials say they will allow registered voters to vote electronically and will also accept ballots paper through Monday, November 19th, as long as they are postmarked by election day, November 5.
The directive is intended to help first responders whose recovery efforts may keep them away from home and their local polling place on election day, as well as those displaced by the storm.
“To help alleviate pressure on polling places, we encourage voters to either use electronic voting or the extended hours at county offices to cast their vote,” said Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno.
Gov. Christie said Friday that his administration is making sure residents have opportunities to vote, even if their polling station is without power or no longer exists. The state is also allowing residents to drop by their county clerk’s office to vote, and created a special text number for voters to see if their polling place is still open.
The electronic voting process is used by overseas residents and service members, but this is the first time New Jersey has allowed voters in the state to vote this way.
Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin told NBC 4 New York the program is being run on an honor system, relying on voters to only use the system if they truly can’t get to his or her polling place.
The procedure, according to Durkin, will be to call or email the county clerk to get a ballot application emailed to you.
Once filled out, you email it back, then get the ballot itself emailed to you.
Durkin said you fill the ballot out and email it back, where it will be printed, held several days and cross checked to make sure you didn’t vote some other way.
Since officials couldn’t figure out a way to confirm a voters name and print the completed ballot witout an election worker looking the voters’ choices while handling the ballots, voters will have to check off a waiver of privacy.