With the June 6 Primary Election just days away, Ocean County voters are reminded they can tap into a few voting options including early voting, Election Day voting and in-person vote by mail to cast their ballots.
“Ocean County voters will be casting their ballots on new voting machines purchased by the Ocean County Board of Commissioners earlier this year,” said Ocean County Commissioner Virginia E. Haines, liaison to the Ocean County Board of Elections. “We closely worked with the Board of Elections and the Ocean County Clerk in choosing a voting machine that will be easy to use while making certain the vote is safe and secure.
“The new voting machines will be used during early voting which runs from Friday, June 2 through Sunday, June 4 and on Primary Election Day on June 6,” she said.
According to Ocean County Clerk Scott M. Colabella, instructions on how to use the new machines are included in the sample ballots sent out from his office to more than 400,000 Ocean County voters.
“Voters should carefully review their sample ballots. There is a wealth of helpful information included,” Colabella said. “In addition, poll workers will be available at polling places to assist voters casting their ballot on the new Express XL voting machines.”
Colabella noted that the information on the sample ballots including poll locations, vote by mail drop box locations and early voting locations is also available on the Ocean County Clerk’s website at https://www.clerk.co.ocean.nj.us/.
“The Ocean County Clerk and his staff along with the Ocean County Board of Elections works diligently to make sure elections run smoothly in the County and all votes are counted and are secure,” said Ocean County Commissioner Gary Quinn, liaison to the Ocean County Clerk’s Office. “It’s imperative that elections in Ocean County and anywhere for that matter are convenient and secure for our residents.
“Voting is a fundamental right and we must take every step to insure the integrity of every vote that is cast,” he said.
Hours for early voting are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., on June 2 and 3, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., June 4.
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.
“Registered voters in Ocean County can cast a ballot at any of the early voting locations,” Colabella said. “For instance, if you live in Barnegat Township but work in Toms River, you can cast your vote at the main branch of the Ocean County Library during early voting.
“The voting machines are programmed to provide you with the appropriate ballots for the town you live in,” he said.
On Election Day, however, voters need to cast their votes at the poll location noted on their sample ballot. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Colabella said that voters can still apply for a vote by mail ballot but must do so in person at the Ocean County Clerk’s Office at 118 Washington St., Toms River. The deadline to apply for a vote by mail ballot is 3 p.m., June 5.
“The office issued 43,079 vote by mail ballots for the June 6 Primary Election,” Colabella said. “As of May 31, a total of 13,393 ballots were returned to the Ocean County Board of Elections – 7,224 by Democrats and 6,169 by Republicans.”
Colabella noted that 2023 is a New Jersey state legislative election year with all seats in the New Jersey Senate and Assembly on the ballot.
In addition, the 2023 state Legislative contests are the first under the new redistricting map with several Ocean County towns moving from one legislative district to another. Under the new redistricting map, Lakehurst and Manchester Township are now part of the states 9th Legislative District moving from the 10th Legislative District; Point Pleasant moved from the 30th District to the 10th District, and Seaside Park and South Toms River are now part of the 10th Legislative District.
“The sample ballots also shows the voter which voting district they live in,” Colabella said.
“With the changes in legislative districts and the use of the new machines, I encourage all voters to use their sample ballot as their guide to vote in the Primary Election,” said Director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners Joseph H. Vicari.