Normally the primary election in New Jersey takes place in early June, but this year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the date was pushed back until Tuesday, July 7.

New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way describes this year’s primary as a hybrid election, which means Garden State residents are able to vote in a couple of different ways.

She said you can cast your ballot by filling out and mailing in the vote by mail ballot you should have already received, “but there are voting polling locations that are available, at least one per municipality, and up to 50% of polling locations per county are open (Tuesday).”

Way said someone may want to go and vote in-person today because the person either did not receive a vote-by-mail ballot, or may have mis-marked one then chose not to return it. She noted some individuals with disabilities may also need assistive devices that are made available at polling locations.

She said if there’s any kind of problem at a polling location, inside or outside, as with elections held normally “every polling location will have poll workers. They are there to assist voters for their needs and of course monitor potential issues.”

Way said if you have not sent in your vote-by-mail ballot yet you can still do so. It needs to be received by your county board of elections by July 14, so either pop it in the mail or personally deliver your ballot to your county board of elections.

She said even in a pandemic situation, elections are a bedrock of our democracy, so “if we’re undergoing a public health crisis, we want to balance things out and make sure our voices are heard.”

Polling sites are open from 6 a.m. till 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

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