An October 31 press release from Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello states:
As a precaution against COVID-19, the Mercer County Clerk’s Office will not be holding live public viewing of election results in the office the evening of Tuesday, November 3 (Election Night). Results will be available for anyone who wants to view them as they come in at http://www.mercercounty.org/government/county-clerk/elections. No additional information would be available in person at the County Clerk’s Office on Election Night. However, if members of the media need written results sent to them, they can call 609-278-7161 to request this.
Additionally, there are several non-profit voter information organizations that are working to increase voter participation in Mercer County, the State of New Jersey, and the United States. As part of their outreach, they are sending mailers and other information, but it is important to know that voting laws may vary from state to state. The New Jersey Division of Elections (https://www.nj.gov/state/elections/) and the County Clerk’s Office have the most up-to-date and verifiable information.
For voters who wish to either vote at the polls on a provisional ballot or return their mail-in ballots to their polling place, it is recommended that they verify their polling place by either checking the address on their polling location postcard, or the complete list of polling locations here: http://www.mercercounty.org/home/showdocument?id=19390.
Titusville resident, Annette Earling, who is serving as a poll worker this year, wrote to MercerMe with the following advice:
“A voter yesterday told me she threw out her vote-by-mail ballot because she wants to vote in person. I told her that all in person voting in NJ will be by provisional ballot.” Earling suggests: if you want to go to the polls, just because you want to go to the polls, bring the ballot you received in the mail with you. You should complete it at home, sign it, seal it in both envelopes, and then bring it to your polling location where there will be directions of where to deposit it.
In MercerMe’s research on this year’s unique election, we have come upon people who have not received a ballot, are not sure whether their ballot was received, or are otherwise confused. Those people may want to go to the polls to complete a provisional ballot. According to Sollami-Covello, provisional ballots are paper ballots just like the ballots people received in the mail. They will be gathered the same as they are every year. After being gathered at the polls, they will be taken to the Board of Elections and put in the vault until all the regular ballots are counted; this is so BOE workers can check the provisional ballots cast against the mailed ballots received to ensure that no one votes twice.
Remember: the secure ballot boxes are available until 8pm on election day.
Finally, to reiterate a question detailed in a previous MercerMe article, “tell us again why we can’t vote by machine?”
Sollami Covello explained that since the Governor ordered a primarily by mail election to protect people from exposure to COVID-19, ballots must be completed on paper. There is no way to track a machine-cast vote, she said. Since every registered voter is receiving a ballot, County officials need a way to be able to match those mailed out ballots against the votes cast and the only way to do that is by paper. People who certify that they have a disability that requires the use of a machine will be allowed to do so, but it will necessitate a wait: poll workers will need to call the BOE to confirm a ballot has not already been received for that person before they are allowed to vote.
If you have any other questions, please click Election Day 2020 at the top of MercerMe’s homepage and scroll to Election 2020 Faq. And, DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!