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THE ANSWER WE’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!

yes and no on colored pieces of paper

WILL NOVEMBER BE AN ALL MAIL-IN BALLOT ELECTION?

 

NO

SUMMARY OF EXECUTIVE ORDER #177
  1. Being referenced as a “Primarily Vote by Mail” (VBM) Election, not ALL VBM
    1. Ballots will be sent to ALL ‘Active’ Registered Salem County voters without the need for an application
    2. The Executive Order supersedes the “application process” for VBM and the State will make all ‘Active’ Registered voters a VBM voter in the State Voter Registration System for ONE ELECTION ONLY. Once the General Election has passed, the State will return all voters back to their original voter selections
  2. Ballot Return envelopes will have POSTAGE PROVIDED – Prepaid First-Class postage
  3. No Sample ballots will be sent out. Instead, you will receive a Notice that contains:
    1. Your Polling location
    2. URL (website link) to the NJ Division of Elections website which will contain the following;
      1. https://www.nj.gov/state/elections/election-information.shtml
        1. Polling place information
        2. Locations of secure ballot drop boxes within the County
        3. Where to obtain a Sample Ballot prior to the Election https://salemcountyclerk.org/election-services/
        4. A statement indicating that a Sample Ballot will be available at the polling location on Election Day
        5. Sent out with Return Receipt Requested postage
          1. Mailed by October 23, 2020 (N.J.S.A. 19:14-25)
  4. Ten (10) secure ballot drop boxes located throughout the County
    1. Locations must have:
      1. 24/7 Surveillance
      2. 30-day recording capability
      3. Readily accessible
  1. All public primary and secondary schools shall be CLOSED to in-person instruction on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020
    1. Schools shall not deny the request of county Boards of Elections (BoE) for use of their buildings as polling places
  2. At least one (1) polling place in each municipality
    1. Each County to OPEN at least 50% of its regularly used polling locations
    2. If unable to OPEN at least 50%, Schools or other large facilities to serve as large voting centers, housing more than more than one voting district
    3. Safety Requirements:
      1. Limit occupancy to accommodate Social Distancing standards amongst Poll workers and voters
      2. Demarcation of 6’ spacing increments in voter lines
      3. Require infection control practices;
        1. Hand washing
        2. Coughing and sneezing etiquette
        3. Proper tissue usage and disposal
      4. Poll worker breaks for hand washing throughout their shift
      5. Frequent sanitization of high-touch areas consistent with CDC guidelines
      6. Signage at entrances and throughout alerting voters and poll workers of the physical distancing requirements
      7. Provide sanitization materials, such as;
        1. Hand sanitizer
        2. Sanitizing wipes
      8. Require poll workers to adhere to CDC guidelines regarding;
        1. Face coverings while in the polling place, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health
        2. Require gloves when in contact with voters and those with voters
        3. County Boards of Elections to provide face coverings and gloves to poll workers
          1. BoE can deny entry of Poll workers for refusal to wear for non-medical reasons only
      9. Require appointed challengers to adhere to CDC guidelines
      10. Strongly encourage voters and those accompanying voters to adhere to CDC guidelines
        1. Except where it would inhibit individual’s health
        2. County BoE’s may provide required PPE, without charge
        3. Voters (and persons accompanying voters) shall not be denied entry for refusing to comply with CDC guidelines
  3. The Secretary of State may modify the requirements of N.J.S.A. 19:31-21 concerning the use of Poll Books and the information contained therein as necessary to address the procedure by which the November General Election will be conducted under this Order
  4. Any voter who appears at a Polling location on the day of the November General Election and does NOT return a voted mail-in ballot, pursuant to paragraph 9 of the Order, shall vote via a Provisional Ballot
    1. Except that accommodations will be made for voters with disabilities
  5. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:63-16, the County Boards of Elections shall designate each polling place as a location to receive voted mail-in ballots. A voter may return ONLY the mail-in ballot that they personally voted to their designated polling place
    1. Secretary of State shall establish appropriate standards for the acceptance of mail-in ballots including, but not limited to;
      1. Poll worker verification that the voter returning the voted mail-in ballot at the polling place IS the individual who voted the mail-in ballot
      2. Securing of the returned mail-in ballots
      3. Return of the mail-in ballots to the County Board of Elections after the close of the polls
  1. Each polling place shall have signage that provides the location of ALL County ballot drop boxes
  2. Time restrictions of N.J.S.A. 19:63-9 shall be modified as follows:
    1. Vote by Mail (VBM) ballots shall be mailed to all ‘Active’ voters on or before the 29th day before the November 3rd General Election (October 4th, 2020)
    2. Whenever the County Clerk forwards a mail-in ballot to a voter between the 29th day and the 13th day, it shall be transmitted within three (3) business days of receipt of the application and in a manner to ensure timely receipt and return of the ballot for counting
    3. All other provisions of N.J.S.A. 19:63-9 remain
    4. This does NOT modify the UOCAVA ballots IAW U.S.C.S20302(a)(8)(A)
  3. To allow the County Clerks to print and mail the ballots to voters, the following deadlines are modified as follows;
    1. Deadline to submit a Public Question for November School Board elections shall be August 31, 2020 (N.J.S.A. 19:16-4)
    2. The last day a vacancy may occur for Primary Election nominees shall be August 29, 2020 (N.J.S.A. 19:13-20)
    3. Deadline to fill a vacancy in the PRIMARY election nominees shall be August 31, 2010 (N.J.S.A. 19:13-20)
    4. Deadline to apply for a Mail-In ballot by MAIL shall be October 23, 2020 (N.J.S.A. 19:63-3)
    5. Deadline for returning a VBM application IN-PERSON shall be suspended
  4. VBM ballots shall be processed and canvassed in accordance with CDC guidelines, NJ Dept. of Health and the Salem County Health Dept.
  5. Due to the increased volume in VBM ballots and to ensure the voters efforts are not impacted by delays in postal service;
    1. UOCAVA Signature & Ballot confirmations IAW N.J.S.A. 19:59-15(d) shall be suspended
    2. The ballot-return deadline in N.J.S.A. 19:63-22 shall be suspended (Canvass & Certification)
    3. Every VBM ballot this is postmarked on or before November 3, 2020, and is received by November 10th, 2020 at 8:00pm
      1. Shall be considered VALID and shall be canvassed, assuming the ballot meets all other statutory requirements
      2. Every ballot without a postmark, and ballots mis-marked and confirmed by the post office that those ballots were received by the post office on or before November 3, 2020, that is received by the County Board of Elections from the United States Postal Service (USPS) within 48 hours of the closing of the polls on November 3, 2020, shall be considered VALID and shall be canvassed, assuming the ballot meets all other statutory requirements
  6. To account for the increase in VBM ballots and to allow the Board of Elections sufficient time to Canvass the returned ballots, N.J.S.A. 19:63-18 is hereby suspended
      1. Board of Elections may continue counting ballots beyond the close of the polls on November 3, 2020 and may adjourn counting after 11PM on November 3, 2020 to immediately continue counting at 9:00AM on November 4, 2020, and continue every business day thereafter, until the counting is completed within the limits of this order
  7. In order to expedite the Signature-verification process in N.J.S.A. 19:63-17, the Board of Elections shall meet at least four (4) days per week starting October 13, 2020
      1. Voters whose ballots are REJECTED pursuant to N.J.S.A.19:63-17, for a missing or discrepant signature, shall be give the opportunity to cure the signature defect IAW procedures established by the Secretary of State
  8. The meeting of the County Board of Canvassers (N.J.S.A. 19:19-1) MUST occur on or before November 20, 2020 to certify the results and NO EXTENSION shall be sought
      1. County Clerks’ transmittal of the Official November General Election Results to the Secretary of State, (N.J.S.A. 19:19-13) MUST occur on or before November 23, 2020 and NO EXTENSION shall be sought
      2. The State Board of Canvassers, (N.J.S.A. 19:21-1), SHALL occur on or before December 8, 2020 to certify the results of the November General Election
  9. The county-resident requirement (N.J.S.A. 19:16-2) for Poll workers is hereby suspended
  10. The 1,000-foot limitation on the location of polling places (N.J.S.A. 19:8-2) shall be suspended
  11. Due to the Suspension of N.J.S.A. 19:63-22 and N.J.S.A. 19:63-18, the time to prepare reports pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:53B-21 and N.J.S.A. 19:3C-21 is extended to November 23, 2020
  12. To ensure results are certified prior to the meeting of Electors, N.J.S.A. 19:61-9c(8) is suspended
    1. Counties may certify their election results prior to the commencement of the Election Audit required in N.J.S.A. 19:61-9
  13. Secretary of State shall establish other appropriate standards to ensure that all voters with disabilities are able to exercise their right to vote
  14. Secretary of State and County Election officials, as appropriate, shall coordinate with the USPS to facilitate proper delivery of ballots by the USPS
  15. Secretary of State and County Election officials, as appropriate, shall act to facilitate the public’s understanding of the rules governing the November General Election
  16. Secretary of State shall establish a hotline number for Reports of Violations of the Election Laws and this Order in connection with the November General Election
  17. Any actions taken by the Secretary of State pursuant to this Order shall not be subject to the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-1 et seq
  18. December 2020 Special School elections, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:60-2(a) shall be suspended until the authorized January 2021 Special School election date
    1. No Special Elections to fill any vacancies shall be held prior to January 12, 2021
  19. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately