Posted Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

An amended state law that took effect in August imposes strict new limits on the pick-up and delivery of “Vote by Mail’’ ballots, limiting any one individual to just three ballots that can be obtained or delivered to county elections officials. That is a reduction from the previous state limit of ten ballots that could be picked up by a surrogate for other voters.
Morris Election Officials Urge Voters to be Aware of a New State Election Rule on Hand-Delivery of Mail-In Ballots
Also, the amended law requires any person dropping off mail ballots to show valid identification, such as a New Jersey driver’s license or other form of identification recognized as official by the federal, state, or county governments. That identification must include the full address of the person and a signature. 

The change in Public Law 2015, Chapter 84 – concerning bearers and messengers of ballots — could impact facilities such as nursing homes or hospitals where social workers collect the mail-in ballots and delivers them in large numbers to elections offices. 

Also, it could impact local campaign efforts to collect mail-in-ballots from groups of voters in a town, especially senior citizens, and deliver them to the county elections office.  

In a recent local fire election in Ocean County, one candidate’s campaign collected and delivered 150 mail-in-ballots and delivered them to county Board of Elections, only to have all of them rejected because the “Bearer” portion of the envelope was not completed by the person delivering the ballots.  

“We are working to get the word out to the public prior to the next election so there is no confusion and no eligible Morris County voters is disenfranchised,’’ said Dale Kramer, Administrator of the Morris County Board of Elections. 

“This will most likely affect larger institutions, such as hospitals, and nursing homes, from which large numbers of mail-in ballots are many times carried to the county for their residents by one or two persons. That is not acceptable anymore.’’

Notices of the changed voting rules have been sent to county and local Republican and Democratic committees, municipal clerks in all 39 Morris County towns, and healthcare facilities. The new rule also has been posted on the Morris County Board of Elections website, and will be advertised in the media.  

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