Last year, due to the pandemic, the general election was primarily done through mail-in-ballot. This year’s general election will be very different.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 2. The polls will be open from 6:00am through 8:00pm. All New Jersey voters will vote for governor, as well as for members of the Senate and General Assembly. In Lakewood, Toms River, and Jackson there will also be elections for township committee / council, Board of Education, and Board of Fire Commissioners.
There will also be a number of referendums on the ballots.
All New Jersey voters will vote on the following 2 state questions:
1. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO PERMIT WAGERING ON ALL COLLEGE SPORT OR ATHLETIC EVENTS
Do you approve amending the Constitution to permit wagering through casinos and current or former horse racetracks on all college sport or athletic events?
Currently, wagering is prohibited on college sport or athletic events that take place in New Jersey. Wagering is also prohibited on an event in which a team from a New Jersey college participates.
Currently, the State Constitution prohibits wagering on college sport or athletic events taking place in New Jersey. It also prohibits wagering on an event in which a New Jersey college team participates.
This amendment would allow the Legislature to pass laws permitting wagering on any college sport or athletic event. It would permit wagering even if a New Jersey college team participates in the competition. Such wagering would be permitted only through casinos and current or former horse racetracks.
2. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO ALLOW CERTAIN ORGANIZATIONS AUTHORIZED TO CONDUCT GAMES OF CHANCE TO USE PROCEEDS FROM THOSE GAMES TO SUPPORT THE ORGANIZATION
Do you approve amending the Constitution to permit all groups that are allowed to conduct bingo or raffles to use the net proceeds from those games to support their groups?
Currently, only veterans and senior citizen groups may use the net proceeds from those games to support their groups. All other groups that are permitted to conduct bingo or raffles may only use the proceeds from those games for certain purposes. They are not permitted to use those proceeds to support their groups. The amendment would allow the other groups that conduct bingo or raffles to use the proceeds to support their groups as well.
The Constitution permits certain groups to conduct games of chance such as bingo or raffles. Those groups are veterans, charitable, educational, religious, fraternal, civic, and senior citizen groups; volunteer fire companies; and first-aid or rescue squads.
The net proceeds from those games of chance may only be used for educational, charitable, patriotic, religious or public-spirited uses. However, veterans and senior citizen groups may also use the proceeds from those games to support their groups.
This amendment would permit all of the groups authorized to conduct games of chance to use the net proceeds from conducting bingos or raffles to support their groups.
In Lakewood, voters will choose whether or not to allow the Board of Fire Commissioners to finance $1.6 million for the acquisition of a new ladder fire truck. Read more about that item here.
In Toms River, voters will choose whether or not to increase the municipal special open space tax, effective January 1, 2022, an additional $0.01 per $100 of total Township equalized property real property valuation.
If approved, the total special open space tax will increase to 2.5 cents per $100 of total Township equalized real property valuation. As an example, if the ordinance is approved, an owner of real property assessed at $100,000 would annually pay $25 into the Open Space Trust Fund. All revenue generated by the tax must be deposited into the Township’s open space trust fund and may only be used for authorized purposes, which include the acquisition of land for recreation, conservation, and preservation.
There are 3 ways to vote in this upcoming election:
1. In person on Election Day at your polling location. The list of polling places in Ocean County has yet to be completed. The Sample Ballots, with your polling location, will be delivered to the Post Office for mailing to voters on October 20th.
2. Vote-By-Mail Ballot – Unlike last year, when all voters automatically received Vote-By-Mail ballots in the mail, this year only those voters who specifically request a ballot for this election, or who have requested in previous elections to receive ballots for all elections going forward, will receive a ballot in the mail.
Registered voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot by following the instructions found at VOTE.NJ.GOV.
Tuesday, Oct. 26 is the last day for the Ocean County Clerk’s Office to receive a vote-by-mail ballot application via mail.
Monday, Nov. 1 at 3 p.m. is the cutoff for obtaining a vote-by-mail ballot in person at the Ocean County Clerk’s Election Office, Courthouse-Room 107, 118 Washington Street in Toms River.
Once you receive your vote-by-mail ballot you can vote and return your ballot in one of the following ways:
a) Mail it back – ballot MUST be postmarked on or before 8:00 p.m. November 2 and be received by your county’s Board of Elections on or before November 8.
b) Place your vote-by-mail ballot in one of your county’s secure ballot drop boxes by 8:00 p.m. on November 2. Drop boxes are located at a number of locations around Ocean County including Northern Resource Center – 225 4th Street in Lakewood; Jackson Library – 2 Jackson Drive, Brick Municipal Building – 401 Chambers Bridge Road; Manchester Library – 21 Colonial Drive, and in Toms River at the Ocean County Parking Garage – 3rd Floor, PIC, Inc. of Ocean County – 1959 Route 9, and Toms River Library – 101 Washington Street.
c) You can also hand deliver your vote-by-mail ballot in person to your county’s Board of Elections Office by 8:00pm on November 2. County Election Officials’ contact information can be found at VOTE.NJ.GOV.
3) Thanks to a new law, starting this year, voters will have an opportunity to vote early, in-person, during a nine-day period prior to Election Day, when it’s most convenient for your schedule. No appointment is necessary.
In-person early voting locations will be open Saturday, October 23 through Sunday, October 31. Hours will be Monday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. and Sunday, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
No matter where you live in the county, you can vote your specific ballot at any of your county’s designated in-person early voting locations as the new election machines would allow cross-municipality voting.
Early voting locations in Ocean County include Lakewood’s Municipal Bldg-Court Room, 231 3rd Street and the Ocean County Library branches in Brick, Jackson, Manchester, and Toms River townships.
Accommodations will be made for voters with disabilities.
(NOTE: Vote-by-mail ballots CANNOT be returned to your early voting location or polling place.)
The deadline to Register to Vote for the upcoming election is this Tuesday, October 12th. You can confirm your registration status, and register to vote here. You can also contact the Ocean County Board of Elections for assistance at (732) 929-2167.