With election day now just two weeks from today, voters in Ocean County have several options when it comes to casting their ballot in the 2023 General Election.
“Voters can now cast their ballot before Election Day during early voting which starts on Oct. 28, by using vote-by-mail, or you can vote at the polls on Election Day which is Nov. 7,” said Ocean County Commissioner Gary Quinn, liaison to the Ocean County Clerk’s Office.
“The Ocean County Clerk’s Office and the Ocean County Board of Elections has been gearing up for the 2023 General Election. Voting has been underway since Sept. 23 when the first vote by mail ballots were sent to voters.”
One of the best websites for information on voting in the General Election is the Ocean County Clerk’s website. Voters can visit the Ocean County Clerk’s website to find information on Vote by Mail ballots, early voting and to view sample ballots to assist on 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.”
Colabella added that for voters who didn’t cast a ballot during the June Primary Election, this will be their first time using new voting machines in Ocean County.
“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.
More than 400,000 Ocean County voters will be receiving sample ballots in the mail which is another good source of election information. The ballots are also available online on the Ocean County Clerk’s website.
Colabella said the ballot includes not only the candidates running for State Legislature, Ocean County Surrogate and Commissioner and numerous municipal local offices and school board contests but also early voting locations, vote by mail drop off box locations and other useful information for a smooth election process.
Colabella said early voting is scheduled to begin on Saturday, Oct. 28 and run until Sunday, Nov. 5. There are 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 nearly 58,000 vote by mail ballots to registered voters, of which more than 31 percent have been returned to the Ocean County Board of Elections.
Colabella said the deadline for vote by mail ballot applications is Oct. 31 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. 6, 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. 7.
“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.
The polls are open on Election Day, Nov. 7 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. in all voting districts in Ocean County.