NEW VOTERS MAY NEED PAPER BALLOTS

Monmouth County is one of six counties statewide that may have to revert to paper ballots for first-time voters because of a crush of last-minute registrations, today’s Star-Ledger reports.

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From the article:

Warren, Atlantic, Bergen, Monmouth, Ocean and Salem counties recently began sending letters warning the voters that they are registered but must cast provisional paper ballots, said state Division of Elections spokeswoman Susan Evans. Other counties, including Morris and Somerset, may also require some voters to cast provisional ballots.

Elections Director Robert F. Giles said the only difference is that their provisional ballots will be counted Wednesday instead of election night.

“They’ll have a private booth off to the side with a privacy screen to fill out the ballot,” Giles said. “It’s a paper ballot and it gets put in a secure envelope. It just gets counted beginning the next day.”

Some counties were not able to include the names of voters in the poll books that are checked by election workers to verify eligibility if they handed in applications on or near the Oct. 14 deadline, Giles said.

Most counties printed supplemental poll books to include the names of those who made it in just before the deadline, but some decided it was easier to have the voters cast provisional ballots.

“It’s not anything new. It happens in every election that some people vote by provisional ballot,” said Somerset County Election Supervisor Jerry Midgette. “They’re all valid registrations, and their votes will be counted. But the numbers were so large, we didn’t have time … to get them into the poll books so they can vote in the machines.”

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