I feel like I should vote in person. Can I?

Where do I go if I want to vote in person?

There will be at least one walk-in polling place in each municipality. However, the Boards of Elections must ensure that poll workers and voters are maintaning social distancing protocols under CDC guidelines.

You will receive a postcard before the election telling you where your polling place is. The postcards are expected to be mailed about two weeks before the election. Your polling location is likely to be in a different place than usual because of the Governor’s order that this will be a primarily by mail election.

How can I be sure my vote is secure?

The best way to be sure your vote is secure is to vote on the ballot that is sent to your house and then put it in the secure ballot box nearest you. Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami-Covello has ensured a secure box is placed in each ward of the City. You also can take your ballot to your local polling place on Election Day, November 3rd or to the Board of Elections office at 1440 Parkside Avenue in Ewing. Polling places and the BOE will be open until 8pm on the day of the election.

If I vote in person, will I use a machine?

If you have a visual or auditory disability and want to use a voting machine, the pollworkers will have you fill out a certification as to your disability and then you can use the voting machine.

So if machines aren’t available for non-disabled people, what is available?

If you go to the polls in person, you will be given a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot is pretty much the exact same thing as the ballot that will be sent to you, except that it will be completely blank as to your voter identification. The poll workers will ask you for identification and will link the provisional ballot with that i.d. Then, once the ballot gets to the Board of Elections, the provisional ballot will be hand-checked against the records of mailed in ballots to make sure you didn’t vote twice.

And tell me why again we have to do this?

Voting by mail is the norm in several other states, including Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. The COVID-19 pandemic made social distancing very important. Generally, pollworkers are retired people, often elderly, and potentially more susceptible to getting sick from the coronavirus. Voting by mail limits the amount of contacts people have to make while still ensuring everyone’s right to vote.

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