Gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono said it was a mistake that her campaign missed a deadline to get a statement about her included in sample ballots being mailed to 5.5 million registered voters.

Barbara Buono (D) receiving the endorsement of New Jersey Citizens Action (Facebook)

The Democrat's campaign missed an Aug. 19 deadline to submit a 500-word statement about the candidate to be printed in sample ballots mailed to every registered voter before the Nov. 5 election.

Buono downplayed the error Tuesday. While campaigning at a picnic for seniors in Paramus, she told The Record "the election isn't going to be decided based upon what is printed on the back of a sample ballot."

She said voters will choose between her and Gov. Chris Christie, based on the issues and the gubernatorial debates.

Christie and six unknown candidates all submitted the statements.

In 2009, Christie used his five paragraphs to make his case to voters. He talked about his family and New Jersey roots, and outlined his political ambitions. He promised to "change the way Trenton operates from the outside in," vowing to create jobs, shrink government and lower taxes.

Amy Davis, a compliance officer with the Election Law Enforcement Commission, said it's rare for a candidate not to submit a statement.

Buono, the Democratic nominee, has struggled to get her name and her message across to voters. She trails Christie by 20 points in polls.

Her campaign did not return an email message seeking comment on Tuesday.

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