FREEHOLD, NJ – Some voters in Monmouth County may be wondering why they received Mail-In Ballots this week. Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon is advising voters that Mail-In Ballots for the upcoming Fire District Elections in certain municipalities have been mailed out to voters.
Fire District Elections will be held on Sat., Feb. 16 in the following municipalities: Aberdeen Township, Englishtown Borough, Freehold Township, Hazlet Township, Howell Township, Manalapan Township, Manasquan, Marlboro Township, Millstone Township, Neptune Township, Ocean Township, Tinton Falls, and Wall Township.
Due to the Statewide Vote by Mail law signed by Governor Murphy last year, all voters who voted by mail in the 2016 General Election had to be sent a Mail-In Ballot for the 2018 General Election, and every election thereafter, unless these voters opted out in writing. The new law includes Fire District Elections, and therefore, many voters received ballots for the Feb. 16 election, even though they may not have expected them.
“My office has mailed out thousands of Mail-In Ballots for the upcoming Fire District Elections,” said Clerk Hanlon. “Due to the new Statewide Vote by Mail law, voters who may not usually participate in their municipal fire district elections may have been surprised to receive a Mail-In Ballot from my office. Prior to the new Vote by Mail law, only a few hundred Mail-In Ballots were sent out for Fire District Elections. This year, we mailed out approximately 15,000 Mail-In Ballots.”
It is important to remember that, according to State law, any voter who receives a Mail-In Ballot will not be permitted to vote on a voting machine on Election Day. Voters will either have to utilize the Mail-In Ballot they received or vote on a paper provisional ballot at the polls on Election Day.
Also, voters who no longer wish to receive Mail-In Ballots for all elections can still opt out in writing. A convenient Vote by Mail Opt Out Form is available for download on the County Clerk’s Elections website at MonmouthCountyVotes.com.
Voters are also reminded that Saturday, Feb. 9 is the deadline for the Monmouth County Clerk of Elections Office to receive applications to Vote by Mail for the Fire District Elections. Friday, Feb. 15 at 3 p.m. is the deadline for the Monmouth County Clerk of Elections Office to receive Vote by Mail Applications for the Fire District Elections in-person.
The Monmouth County Clerk of Elections Office is located at 300 Halls Mill Road in Freehold Township and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.