Still need a mail-in ballot in N.J.? You can get one from your county clerk

A secure Mercer County ballot drop box in front of the municipal building at 400 Witherspoon Street in Princeton. Photo: Krystal Knapp.

The deadline in New Jersey to apply by mail for a vote-by-mail ballot was Friday, Oct. 23. But if you missed the deadline, you can still get a mail-in ballot. It just means some extra effort on your part.

Through 7:45 p.m. on election day Nov. 3, you can get a mail-in ballot, but you must go to your county clerk’s office and pick it up in person.

In Mercer County, residents can pick up mail-in ballots during normal office hours at 209 South Broad Street in Trenton. Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello said the office will also be open on Saturday, Oct. 31, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

You have until 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 to return your mail-in ballot to your county board of elections or your polling place. You can also deposit it in one of the secure ballot drop boxes in your county before 8 p.m.

We recommend dropping your ballot off in a secure drop box in your municipality. But don’t wait until the last minute. In the June primary election, we witnessed people arriving to drop their ballots off at a secure ballot drop box just after 8 p.m. and being turned away because they missed the cut off time. You must deposit your ballot in a box within your county. Don’t drop your ballot off in a ballot box in another New Jersey county.

If you take your ballot to a polling location on Nov. 3, you will still have to wait in line and sign the polling book. The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

If you wait until election day to pick up a mail-in ballot, don’t forget to leave extra time to drop it off in a secure ballot drop box. If you want to drop it off at your county board of elections, be sure you also leave enough time. In some counties, the clerk’s office and the board of elections are not located in the same building, or even in the same municipality. In Mercer County, the board of elections temporarily has been moved to 1400 Parkway Avenue in Ewing. There is a secure ballot drop box at that location, and a staff member is also accepting mail-in ballots during office hours.

For a directory of drop box locations by county, visit the State of New Jersey Voter Information Portal.

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