Early Voting Gets Underway; Here’s What You Need To Know

Voters looking to cast their ballot for the upcoming General Election can select how they want to cast their vote with options including vote-by-mail, early voting and at the polls on Election Day.

“Voters now have a number of choices on ways to cast their ballot,” said Ocean County Commissioner Gary Quinn, liaison to the Ocean County Clerk’s Office. “There is plenty of information available on the how and where for casting your vote for the Nov. 8 General Election.”

Voters can visit the Ocean County Clerk’s website to find information on mail-in ballots, early voting and casting a ballot on Election Day. The website address is oceancountyclerk.com.

“The website and also the sample ballots contain the information voters need to determine the best and most convenient way for them to cast a ballot,” said Ocean County Clerk Scott M. Colabella. “Ocean County voters still like to vote the traditional way by heading to the polls on Election Day to cast a ballot.

“Other voters are seeing the convenience in mail-in ballots and early voting,” he said.

Early voting is scheduled to begin on Saturday, Oct. 29 and run until Sunday, Nov. 6. There will be 10 early voting sites and the hours will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

“Early voting gives voters an expanded window of time to cast their ballot,” Quinn said. “A voter can visit any of the 10 early voting sites and cast their ballot.

“It doesn’t matter which early voting site you choose to cast your vote,” Quinn said. “All 10 sites have the ballots for all 33 municipalities. Early voting allows you to vote in person, on a secure state of the art technology voting machine and electronic poll book so that any voter from any election district can cast the proper ballot at any of the 10 locations in the County.”

The early voting sites in Ocean County are: the Berkeley Township branch of the  Ocean County Library, 30 Station Road, Bayville; the Brick Township branch of the Ocean County Library, 301 Chambersbridge Road, Brick; the Jackson Township branch of the Ocean County Library, 2 Jackson Drive, Jackson; The Lacey Community Center, (Former Knights of Columbus Building, Room C, 15 E Lacey Road, Lacey Township;  The Lakewood Township Municipal Building, Courtroom, 231 3rd St., Lakewood; the Upper Shores Branch of the Ocean County Library, 112 Jersey City Ave., Lavallette; the Little Egg Harbor Township Branch of the Ocean County Library; 290 Mathistown Road,
Little Egg Harbor Township; the Ocean County Southern Service Center, nutrition site,
179 S Main St., Manahawkin; the Manchester Township Branch of the Ocean County Library, 21 Colonial Dr., Manchester Township and the Toms River branch of the Ocean County Library, 101 Washington St., Toms River.

Quinn noted that the Ocean County Clerk’s Office has issued almost 58,000 vote by mail ballots, of which more than 35 percent have been returned to the Ocean County Board of Elections.

Colabella said the deadline for vote by mail ballot applications is Nov. 1 for those sent to his office by way of the U.S. Postal Service.  Voters can also apply and pick up a vote by mail ballot at the County Clerk’s Office up until 3 p.m., Nov. 7, which is the cutoff for issuing vote by mail ballots.

Quinn noted there are 20 secure vote-by-mail ballot drop off boxes strategically located throughout the County. The drop off deadline is 8 p.m., Nov. 8.

“Most of these boxes are located on Ocean County Library branch properties, so they have security cameras in the area and are frequented by security,” Quinn said. “It’s important our voters know their votes are secure and count.”

The drop off box locations are: Ocean County Library, Barnegat Branch, 112 Burr St., Barnegat Township; Beachwood Library branch, 126 Beachwood Blvd., Beachwood;
Berkeley Township Library branch, 30 Station Road, Bayville; Brick Township Library branch, 301 Chambers Bridge Road, Brick Township; Jackson Township Library branch,  2 Jackson Drive, Jackson Township; Lacey Township Library branch, 10 E. Lacey Road, Forked River; Upper Shores Branch, Ocean County Library, 112 Jersey City Ave., Lavallette; Little Egg Harbor Township Library branch, 290 Mathistown Road, Little Egg Harbor Township; Long Beach Island Library branch, 217 S. Central Ave., Surf City, and Manchester Township Library branch, 21 Colonial Drive, Manchester Township.

Also, the Ocean County Northern Resource Center – 225 4th St., Lakewood; Ocean County Parking Garage, 3rd Floor, Madison Ave., Toms River; PIC, Inc. of Ocean County, 1959 Route 9, Toms River;  Plumsted Township Library branch, 119 Evergreen Road, New Egypt; Point Pleasant Library branch, 834 Beaver Dam Road, Point Pleasant;
Ocean County Southern Service Center, 179 South Main St., Manahawkin; Toms River Library branch, 101 Washington St., Toms River; Ocean County Courthouse, 118 Washington St., Toms River; Waretown Library branch, 112 Main St., Waretown, and the Whiting Reading Center/Library, 400 Lacey Road, Suite 5, Whiting.

Vote by mail ballots can also be dropped off at the Ocean County Board of Elections Office at 129 Hooper Ave., Toms River, until 8 p.m. Election Day.

Sample ballots will be sent to Ocean County residents starting Oct. 26.

“I strongly suggest you review the sample ballot when you receive it,” Quinn said. “It has a lot of information on the process of how to cast your ballot along with the candidates on your ballot.”

Ocean County has 459,480 registered voters. The 2022 General Election includes races for Congressional seats in Districts 2 and 4, two seats on the Ocean County Board of Commissioners and the Ocean County Sheriff, 45 municipal contests, 41 school board contests and municipal ballot questions in Ocean Township and Barnegat Township.

“Polls are open on Election Day, Nov. 8 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. in all voting districts in Ocean County,” Colabella said.

“We encourage our residents to get out and vote,” Quinn said. “Casting your ballot will always be the anchor to our democracy and to have your voice heard.”

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