Election 2020 FAQ

This is a round up of recent news about the 2020 election. It will be updated as news come in and you can access it by clicking Election Day 2020 at the top of our website.

Registration

*Not sure if you are registered? Click here. The deadline to register is October 13. You can register online here or download a paper registration application here.

*The Mercer County Clerk advises:check that your registration information is correct! You can check your registrationhere. However, if it comes back that you are not registered and you think you should be, email: Catherine DiCostanzo
Mercer County Superintendent of Elections
609-989-6770/ cdicostanzo@mercercounty.org

Vote by Mail

This year is no different from any other year in terms of the efforts made by local officials to ensure that everyone has an opportunity exercise their right to vote. Just this year, our Governor has asked those officials to plan for a way for everyone to vote while socially distancing as much as possible and that way is that every registered vote in New Jersey will receive a ballot in the mail.

*You do not have to fill out a vote by mail application if you are already registered, although the Clerk’s office may ask you to do so if you are just registering now.

*The County Clerk will mail out the ballots starting in late September – October 5th at the latest. IF YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED YOUR BALLOT BY OCTOBER 12TH, CALL THE CLERK’S OFFICE AT 609-989-6494 or 6495.

*View a video from the Mercer County Clerk’s office to learn how to fill out the mail-in ballot
(start at minute 1:30 because the first part refers to applying to vote by mail, which you don’t have to do this year)

*Sample Ballots are available here.

What municipality do I use when filling out the ballot?

How do I make sure my vote counts?

There are several different ways to turn in your ballot:

  1. By mailing it through the US post office. Ballots are postage paid – no stamp necessary. Ballots must be postmarked by November 3l
  2. By putting it in one of the many secure drop boxes located in Mercer County. Drop Boxes will be emptied daily by the Sherriff’s office and taken to a secure location at the Board of Elections until counting commences. This is the full list of SECURE DROP BOXES. Ballot boxes will be open until 8pm on election day;
  3. You can take it to the Board of Elections at 1440 Parkside Ave in Ewing up until 8pm on election day;
  4. Take it to your polling location on election day. Because this is a primarily vote by mail election, there are fewer polling locations in New Jersey and your polling location may have changed. This is the full list of polling places in Mercer County – if you choose to vote in person, it might be at a different place than you are used to – check your district’s assigned place. Hopewell Township Voting Districts, Pennington Voting Districts, Hopewell Borough Voting Districts.

    *If you go to your polling location without the ballot you received in the mail and want to vote there, you will be given a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot is exactly the same as the ballot mailed to you. If you decide to use the provisional ballot, it will be counted the same as any other ballot, but it will take extra resources from County employees who will check your provisional ballot against the list of ballots mailed in to ensure you didn’t vote twice. Click here for information about your polling location.

    *If you have an auditory or visual disability so that you must use the assistance available in a voting machine, you can go to your polling place and certify your disability and there will be a machine there for you to use.

*Once you send in your ballot, you can track it here.

*Make sure you follow ALL of the directions on your ballot (step by step directions here) and that you use both envelopes.

*If your signature doesn’t match what the Board of Elections has on file, you will be able to cure that – the Clerk’s office will send your ballot back to you and ask for more information to prove your identify, so keep an eye out in the mail in case that happens.

*If you receive a ballot that is for someone who no longer lives in your house, mark it “return to sender” and mail it back so the clerk’s office will be notified to change their records. If they have passed away, please mark it “Deceased”.

If you have any questions that are not answered here, please email amie@MercerMe.com and we will try to find the answer.

Updates

10/28 Here’s some good advice from MercerMe’s favorite local pollworker, Annette Earling: If you bring the ballot you received by mail to the polls, “it should be completed at home and sealed in its security envelope when you arrive. Also, you can only deposit your own ballot in the polling place lock box. If you’re carrying someone else’s ballot–even with permission–you’ll be asked to deposit it outside in the drop box.”

10/28 For answers to questions about what accepted/rejected means on the ballot tracking app, and other updates, click here.


10/14 Why isn’t the tracking system showing my ballot as received? From the County Clerk’s FB Page:
SHARING AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE MERCER COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS REGARDING BALLOT TRACKING:Dear Resident/Registered Voter: At the present time, the Mercer County Board of Elections is receiving mail and mail-in ballots, as well as retrieving ballots from the ballot drop boxes. The Office is operating on a temporary basis due to positive COVID-19 cases. The Board has established a procedure to allow for in-person delivery of ballots at 1440 Parkside Avenue, Ewing, NJ. In addition, a ballot drop box has been installed at 1440 Parkside Avenue, Ewing. Your ballot is secured in a locked vault and will start to be processed as soon as possible so you can track. Please accept our apologies for any delay but kindly grant us some time to catch up and continue with the process that was under way. (The Mercer County Board of Elections is a bi-partisan Board that oversees ballot counting, polling locations, and drop boxes.)

10/16 From Kevin Nerwiski, Lawrence Township Municipal Manager on the Lawrenceville FB:
“Hey Everyone! Just a little bit of information to share. The Mercer County Clerk (our own Paula Sollami Covello) has told me that the Board of Elections should be logging in ballots next week. So for all of those posting concern about their ballot not being counted or processed as shown on the tracker site, please know that next week starts that process. The early voting by ballot box and by U.S. mail has been really, really strong. People are psyched to have their voice heard and vote counted and there are many ballots to process!”

10/17 And Mary Ryan on Hopewell Pennington Update, who clarifies further: “I talked to them yesterday, the whole office was sent home for 2 weeks and they are working with handful of volunteers answering the phone. The employees are due back Monday!”


10/5 For specific information about HOW to fill out that ballot and what happens to the ballot once you put it in the drop box, click here


10/13 I asked Bonnie Epps, the Superintendent of Elections for the Clerk’s office what to do if you get two ballots for the same person. Her answer: shred one of them. (AR) 10/19 Update: Talked to Ms. Epps again – it doesn’t really matter which ballot you use, but if you are concerned – for instance if one has your name misspelled – call them or email them. Then shred the one that you don’t use.

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