New mail-in ballot law causes confusion at the polls

BY Raven Santana, Correspondent |

While voters have come out in full force in New Jersey, it hasn’t been an altogether smooth process. NJTV is participating in the Electionland Project with ProPublica, which monitors the voting problems around the country. In New Jersey, we have seen some problems.

In Somerset County, a senior center was opened an hour and 15 minutes late, causing voters to wait and some even ended up leaving out of frustration.

But the biggest issue has been confusion at the polls over mail-in ballots. A recent mail-in ballot law passed by Gov. Phil Murphy automatically registered all New Jersey voters as vote by mail if that’s how they cast their ballot in 2016.

That caused a number of voters to show up at polls only to be forced to fill out provisional ballots.

If you requested, but didn’t receive your vote by mail ballot, or forgot you had one, you can still vote at your polling site by 8 p.m. Tuesday night using what’s called a provisional, paper ballot.

What’s tricky about the provisional ballot is that it likely won’t be counted until the Friday after the election.

Voters we spoke with who experienced not knowing that they were registered by a mail-in ballot said their biggest concern is that their vote may not count.