The Ocean County Clerk's Election Office is open Saturday, June 2 to accommodate candidates and voters for a variety of fast-approaching deadlines.
The hours tomorrow are 9 a.m. to noon at the office, in the Ocean County Courthouse, 118 Washington Street, Room 107, Toms River. Monday to Friday hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Ocean County Clerk Scott M. Colabella said the Saturday hours are to accommodate candidates filing nominating petitions to run for School Board in November, as well as voters who wish to apply in person for a mail-in ballot for Tuesday's primary election.
It's not the first time the office has held Saturday hours, and later hours are often scheduled on a deadline day.
“As a convenience to the public, and in an effort to increase voter participation, we are pleased to offer these additional hours," Colabella said in a prepared statement. "We have found that in the past many individuals who cannot come to our office during regular business hours (Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) have taken advantage of the extended hours."
Deadline for School Board candidates
Anyone wishing to run for school board has until 4 p.m. Tuesday to file their nominating petitions. The school board election is Nov. 6 this year, changed to the general election day from its previous
Across Ocean County, a total 74 seats will expire in area school districts, Colabella said. In Berkeley Township, will be up for grabs.
School board candidates must file their nominating petition in the county clerk's election office before the Tuesday deadline.
Colabella said the Saturday hours should help give the candidates additional hours to come to the clerk's office with their materials.
Monday Deadline for Primary Mail-in Ballot
Voters who want to use mail-in ballots for the primary must stop by the election office to obtain their ballot. Normally you can request the ballot be mailed to you, but as the mail-in deadline approaches it is only available by stopping in the election office.
Registered voters do not need a reason to vote by mail in New Jersey. The deadline for obtaining a mail-In ballot in person is 3 p.m., Monday, June 4. After that, voters must obtain a court order from a Judge allowing them to apply for a Mail-In Ballot, Colabella said.
You'll need to present identification and sign your name as it appears in the voter registry book, in order to apply for a mail-in ballot. For additional information on obtaining a mail-in ballot, contact the County Clerk's Election Office at (732) 929-2153.
Primary Day is Tuesday June 5
Polls are open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 5 for primary election day. Voters should proceed to their normal polling place to vote.
There's a contested Republican primary race for the U.S. Senate seat opposing Sen. Robert Menendez (D). Four candidates are vying for the Republican ticket.
June 5 is also the deadline to file as an independent candidate for office.
Mail-in Ballot Trends
Colabella said as of May 30, the election office issued 4,621 mail-in ballots in the primary.
The breakdown: 2,455 ballots have been issued to registered Republicans; 1,470 ballots have been issued to registered Democrats; and 696 ballots have been issued to unaffiliated voters.
The ballot provides an option to individuals who cannot come to the polls on an election day or who find it would otherwise be more convenient.
However, you don't need any reason at all to use the mail-in ballot. New Jersey law does not require voters give a reason as to why they are voting by mail.