Voting by Mail 101

Many people will be voting by mail for the first time in 2020. Below are some instructions and tips to keep in mind to make sure your voting is successful.

How to Vote by Mail for the July 7th Primary

Get Your Ballot and Complete It Right Away
  1. Make sure you are registered to vote and affiliated with a major political party. If you’re not sure, see the section below.
  2. VBM ballots should be received mid-June. Return your ballot as soon as possible in case there are issues you need to correct.
  3. Your ballot will include a return postage-paid envelope, (no stamp necessary) which will be included in the VBM Ballot packet that you will receive. To return your ballot, you can:
    1. Mail your ballot through the US Postal Service
      1. The ballot must be postmarked on or before July 7, 2020 and received by the Board of Elections by 8 pm on July 14, 2020
    2. Deposit your ballot at the secure dropbox located at the commuter lot off Kings Road, behind the police station.
      1. The deadline is 8:00 pm on July 7, 2020.
    3. Deliver your ballot directly to the Board of Elections at 10 Court St, Second Floor Morristown, NJ 07960 973-285-6715
      1. The deadline to deliver your ballot is 8 pm on July 7th and a voter delivering their own ballot is required to produce identification.

If someone other than the voter is delivering the ballot to the Board of Elections make sure that they fill out and sign the Bearer Section on the left-back side of the return envelope.

Navigating and Completing your VBM Ballot

Here is a sample of the Democrat ballot and Republican ballot.

  1. When you get your ballot, open it right away, read all the instructions and DO NOT throw anything away.
  2. Fill out your ballot and use ONLY a pencil or ink pen (black or blue).  We encourage you to vote for every race on the ballot, but it is not required. You CANNOT vote for more candidates than is permitted or your vote will not count. So read the “Office Title” column carefully– it will tell you if you are voting for one (example, Freeholder) or two (example, Borough Council).
  3. Fold your completed ballot and put inside the inner envelope, and seal it.
  4. Fill out the “Certificate of Mail-in Voter” that is attached to the inner envelope. DO NOT DETACH. This self-certification is required to confirm that you filled out the ballot in secret and is required for your ballot to be accepted and to count. You are allowed an Assistor and if you are doing that, fill that section out.
  5. Be sure you SIGN your NAME on the Certificate– a surprising number of people neglect to do this.
  6. Place the completed inner envelope inside the pre-paid postage outer envelope and seal it– DO NOT USE TAPE.  If you must, use a glue stick sparingly.
  7. Submit your completed ballot using one of the approved methods.

What if I Have a Problem With My VBM Ballot?
  1. If you lose your VBM Ballot, it is destroyed or you don’t think you received it:
    1. Immediately request a duplicate from the County Clerk’s Office: 973-285-6715
  2. VBM ballots will be rejected if you fail to sign the ballot, and if you attempt to tape the ballot of if it is detached or damaged.

How to Make Sure You Get a VBM ballot
  1. Make sure you are registered to vote. You can check on the NJ Division of Elections page.
  2. If you received a Vote by Mail application, mail it by June 27 as it must arrive by June 30. Or you or your Authorized Messenger can hand deliver it to the County Clerk’s Office at 10 Court Street, Administration & Records Building, 1st Floor, Morristown – by 3 p.m., July 6. If someone delivers it for you, have them provide the Authorized Messenger information in Section 11 – and sign it.
  3. If you have recently moved or want to update your address, contact the Clerk’s office right away: 973-285-6715
  4. All active registered Republicans and Democrats will automatically be mailed a VBM Ballot.
  5. All Unaffiliated voters or inactive Republican or Democrat voters will automatically receive a VBM Ballot Application that must be received by the Clerk’s office by June 30th.
    1. The VBM Application will require you to declare your affiliation with either the Republican or Democrat Party. Once the completed VBM Application is received by the Morris County Clerk’s Office, you will receive a ballot based upon your party election on the VBM Application.
    2. In-person VBM Applications will be accepted by the County Clerk’s Election Office until 8:00 pm on July 7, 2020.

Visit the Morris County Clerk’s Website for full information on VBM