Are you overwhelmed by the changes and the options for voting this year? Do you need more information on candidates, how to fill out your ballot, or ballot questions? The nonpartisan Hopewell Valley League of Women Voters has a number of resources to help navigate casting your vote in 2020. They can point you to information on the proper submission of ballots, the Hopewell Valley District School Board candidates, and New Jersey public questions. All are easily accessible online.
“The goal of our League is to make sure that voters have the information they need to make their ballot decisions and to get their ballots safely submitted. The School Board candidates’ interviews and ballot question analyses are an important part of this,” said Joann Held, President, League of Women Voters Hopewell Valley.
Preparing to Vote
These resources are especially useful in preparing to vote.
- The National League of Women Voters sponsors a Web site with information about what is on the local ballot: https://www.vote411.org/
- The Hopewell Valley League has recorded interviews with the school board candidates who are on the ballot in Hopewell Township: https://tinyurl.com/HVSchoolBoard2020
- This year, New Jersey has three public questions on the ballot. For a nonpartisan analysis of these questions, visit this NJ League of Women Voters webpage and scroll to the bottom of the page: https://www.lwvnj.org/home/covid19
Submitting your paper ballot
There are three ways to vote using the ballot you received in the mail: on a paper ballot that can be placed in secure special drop boxes located around Mercer County; on a paper ballot that can be mailed through the U.S. Postal Service; or at your polling place on November. 3.
Hopewell Valley voters who want to use a secure drop box can go to the one located at the Hopewell Township Administration Building – 201 Washington Crossing Pennington Rd, Titusville, NJ 08560 (at the intersection of Scotch Road). They and all other Mercer County residents can also deposit their ballots at any of the other drop boxes located around the County. (For a complete listing, visit http://www.mercercounty.org/government/county-clerk/elections ) This must be done by 8pm on Election Day. Drop boxes all have continuous surveillance and are emptied at least once each day.
If you wish to mail your ballot via the United States Post Office, it is recommended that you take your ballot directly to the Post Office (to ensure that it is postmarked) and mail it as early as possible. Ballots postmarked by November 3 and received by November 10 at 8pm will be counted.
You can also deliver your ballot to a poll worker at your polling place on Election Day during the hours of 6am to 8pm but you will need to stand in line to do this, since the poll worker must confirm your registration before accepting the ballot.
Voting in Person
If you want to vote in person, polling places will be open on Election Day. All in-person voters must wear masks and observe social distancing. Because there will be fewer polling places, you may experience longer lines that usual.
There will be one voting machine at each location for use by those who are visually or hearing impaired and are unable to use a paper ballot. All others will be given a paper provisional ballot. The provisional ballot will later be checked against the list of those who voted by mail to ensure that no one is double counted.
“We are always happy to answer any questions that Hopewell Valley residents have about voting in this election. It’s easy to reach us via e-mail at: hvLeague@gmail.com We ardently believe that the more people vote, the stronger our Democracy,” Held noted.
Submitted by the League of Women Voters, which is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Membership is open to men and women of all ages.