As the state enters Phase Two of its reopening strategy and allows residents to engage in more and more activities, I would like to remind everyone to participate in two very important activities – completing the U.S. Census and voting in the July 7 Primary Election. These actions are vital to the health and well being of our entire nation.
And to those high school and college graduates and their support network of parents and friends, I send my heartfelt congratulations. I wish the graduates success in all of their personal and professional endeavors. I particularly applaud the creativity, compassion, passion, and perseverance the students have demonstrated during these past few months of health, social, and economic upheaval.
The U.S. Census
- The 2020 Census is happening now. You can complete your questionnaire online, by phone, or by mail. Go to https://my2020census.gov.
- It's safe, secure, and confidential. Your information and privacy are protected.
- Results from the 2020 Census affect:
- Federal funding - billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities for schools, roads, and other public services.
- Congressional reapportionment - the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives.
- Redistricting - State and local officials use census results to help redraw congressional, state, and local district boundaries to contain roughly equal numbers of people to meet the one-person, one-vote rule.
- Primary voting date: July 7, 2020
Every registered Democratic and Republican voter gets a Vote By Mail (VBM) ballot. Just follow the directions:
- Mark the ballot
- Complete the "certificate of mail-in voter envelope"
- Sign where indicated
- Insert the ballot in the "certificate of mail-in voter envelope" and seal
- Insert the "certificate of mail-in voter envelope" in the return envelope
- Seal the pre-paid postage envelope
- Mail via US mail - ballots must be postmarked no later than 8 p.m. on July 7, 2020
- Mail via special election secure drop box - ballots must be placed in box by 8 p.m. on July 7, 2020
Every unaffiliated and inactive voter gets a VBM ballot application with pre-paid postage.
- A voter may apply for a Mail-In Ballot by mail up to 7 days prior to the election. He or she may also apply in person to the County Clerk prior to 8 P.M. the day of the election.
- The County Clerk cannot accept faxed or emailed copies of an Application for Vote by Mail Ballot, unless you are a Military or Overseas Voter, since an original signature is required.
Once a ballot is received, follow the above directions in filling it out and returning it.
For those who want in-person access to voting, each municipality will have one or more in-person polling places.
- ONLY PROVISIONAL PAPER BALLOTS WILL BE AVAILABLE to cast your vote at these polling places. All locations will be required to follow COVID public health standards.
If you have a disability and need special accommodations, call your county board of elections https://nj.gov/state/elections/county-eo.shtml or go to the in-person polling location that will provide access to an accessible voting machine on Election Day.