Early Voting In New Jersey Begins Wednesday; Here is What’s on the Ballot in Ocean County

Early, in-person voting for New Jersey’s 2024 primary election will begin on Wednesday, with President Biden and former President Trump appearing atop the ballots for their respective parties.

But although the presidential primaries are pretty much finalized – a consequence of New Jersey’s late primary date – there are several other contested races up and down the ballot.

New Jersey has a closed primary system, meaning only Democrats and Republicans can vote for their party’s nominees to run in the general election. Unaffiliated voters who wish to vote in the primary can choose a party at their polling location.

Here is a an explainer on what voters in Ocean County will see on their ballot.


On the Republican side, former President Trump is running unopposed in his quest to become the second former president to return to the Oval Office after losing a re-election bid.

However, on the Democratic side, voters will have three options, President Biden, pro-life progressive activist Terrisa Bukovinac and an option to send “uncommitted” delegates to this summer’s Democratic National Convention along with the slogan “Justice for Palestine, Permanent Ceasefire Now.”

That last option was the product of Uncommitted New Jersey Campaign, which is funded by the Democratic Socialists of America, which was successful in getting the slogan on the ballot in 18 of the state’s 20 delegate districts.

The reason for that is that in order to get on the presidential primary ballot in New Jersey, an individual or group is only required to submit 1,000 valid signatures (and you do not need to name a delegate slate). In addition, candidates can list a slogan with or without a name.


Following the indictment of New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez last September, the race to replace him has been heated on both sides, with Republicans hoping to win a Senate seat in the state for the first time since 1972, while the Democrats witnessed a ferocious primary take place between the establishment and the progressive wings of the party, which ended after First lady Tammy Murphy ended her bid, leaving Rep. Andy Kim the presumed frontrunner. 

On the Democratic side, Rep. Kim will appear along with progressive activist Larry Hamm and Labor leader Patricia Campos-Medina.

For the Republicans, Christine Serrano Glassner, the mayor of Mendham Borough is battling hotelier Curtis Bashaw, former Tabernacle Deputy Mayor Justin Murphy and Navy veteran Albert Harshaw.

House of Representatives:

Incumbent Republican Rep. Chris Smith, who shares the title of most senior member of the House of Representatives with Kentucky Republican Rep. Hal Rogers, is seeking a 23rd consecutive term. He faces a primary challenge from David Schmidt, who ran two years ago as an independent candidate and this year is using the slogan Term limits and secure borders.

Democrat Matthew Jenkins, who lost to Smith in the 2022 general election, is running unopposed in his primary.

County Commissioner: 

With the retirements of members of the all-Republican Ocean County Board of Commissioner this year, two seats are up for grabs and are being sought by Republican candidates Jennifier Bacchione, a member of the Berkeley Township Board of Education and Manchester Mayor Rob Arace.

In Lakewood, there are two committeemen up for re-election, Democratic incumbent Meir Lichtenstein and Republican incumbent Menashe Miller.

Hours for early voting are 10am to 8pm on weekdays and from 10am to 6pm on Sunday, June 2.

The 10 early voting locations are: Berkeley Township Branch of the Ocean County Library, 30 Station Road, Bayville; Brick Township Branch of the Ocean County Library, 301 Chambersbridge Road, Brick Township; Jackson Township Branch of the Ocean County Library, 2 Jackson Drive, Jackson Township; Lacey Township Community Center Room C (formerly the Knights of Columbus Building) 15 East Lacey Road, Lacey Township; Lakewood Municipal Building, Courtroom, 231-3rd St., Lakewood; the Upper Shores Branch of the Ocean County Library, 112 Jersey City Ave., Lavallette; Little Egg Harbor Township Branch of the Ocean County Library, 290 Mathistown Road, Little Egg Harbor Township; Ocean County Southern Service Center, nutrition site, 179 South Main Street, Manahawkin; Manchester Township Branch of the Ocean County Library, 21 Colonial Drive, Manchester; and the main branch of the Ocean County Library, 101 Washington St., Toms River.

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  1. NJ Resident: “I’m Sorry, But No More Worms for Me!”
    When asked whether he plans on voting early in this year’s elections, NJ resident, Gary Featherstein, told reporters on Monday that he recently resolved to never vote early in an election.
    When asked to explain his reasoning, Mr. Featherstein told reporters that: “There’s an old adage that says, ‘The early bird gets the worm’. Well, I’ve had it up to HERE with the worms already! I’m sorry, but no more worms for me! Period!”

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