In Brief

Early in-person voting begins in New Jersey

By: - October 29, 2022 10:00 am

Nearly 140 polling sites opened across the state Saturday, though it remains to be seen how many voters will cast early in-person ballots. (Daniella Heminghaus for New Jersey Monitor)

Nearly 140 early voting places spread across each of the state’s 21 counties began welcoming New Jerseyans and their ballots Saturday.

New Jersey’s nine-day early voting period allows residents to cast machine ballots before polls formally open on Election Day.

Polling hours run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. — or 6 p.m. on Sundays — and polls will remain open through Sunday, Nov. 6. Election Day is Nov. 8.

State law requires election officials to open at least three early voting sites in each county, though the state government will pay for five, seven, or 10 sites depending on a county’s population.

New Jersey residents have yet to embrace early voting en masse. Just over 20,000 New Jerseyans cast early ballots in person during this year’s primaries, accounting for 2.6% of all votes cast.

Just under 208,000 residents cast early ballots in person during last year’s general election, 7.8% of total turnout.

Election officials have said they expect early voting rates to rise as the practice matures, noting New Jersey voters have turned to mail voting in droves in recent years. Just 4.6% voted by mail in 2016’s primaries. That number was 36% this June.

Voters can find a list of early voting sites in their county on the Secretary of State’s website and can cast early in-person ballots at any site in their home county.

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Nikita Biryukov
Nikita Biryukov

Nikita Biryukov most recently covered state government and politics for the New Jersey Globe. His tenure there included revelatory stories on marijuana legalization, voting reform and Rep. Jeff Van Drew's decamp to the Republican Party. Earlier, he worked as a freelancer for The Home News Tribune and The Press of Atlantic City.