FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 5, 2012
Contact: Tom Plante, 908-527-4746
Sebastian D’Elia, 908-527-4419
County Clerk Extends Saturday Office Hours for Last-Minute Presidential Election Mail-In Voters;
Sample Ballots May Be Viewed on Clerk’s Website
Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi will open her offices in Elizabeth and Westfield on Saturdays, October 13, 20, 27 and November 3, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for voters seeking last-minute Vote-By-Mail ballots. The office in Elizabeth at the Union County Courthouse, 2 Broad Street, Room 113, and the office in Westfield at 300 North Avenue East, will be open as a public service for those voters who choose the Vote-By-Mail option for the Presidential Election to be held on Tuesday, November 6.
“Every voter should have the opportunity to cast his or her ballot in the general election for federal, county, municipal and school board offices, and public questions,” Rajoppi said. “We want to ensure that even those who have a last-minute change of plans can have a chance to vote.”
Sample ballots for the Presidential Election in each Union County municipality may be viewed by going to the County Clerk’s website: http://ucnj.org/sample-ballots.
“By opening the Elizabeth office on the four Saturdays before the general election, along with the Westfield office, which has regular Saturday hours throughout the year, we hope to assist those citizens whose work schedules or other commitments keep them from applying to Vote-By-Mail during the work week,” Rajoppi said.
Voters will be able to drop off their completed mail-in ballot, formerly known as an absentee ballot, at the Union County Clerk’s offices in Elizabeth and Westfield. This option allows voters to pick up their ballots, vote in privacy and deposit them in a secured lockbox – all at the same office through 3:00 p.m. on Monday, November 5. Completed ballots will be kept in a secure lockbox under the control of the Union County Board of Elections, who will collect them for counting.
“Voters used to pick up absentee ballots at the Clerk’s office and then had to drive across town to deliver them to the Board of Elections,” Rajoppi said. “This option makes voting more accessible, particularly for senior citizens.”
The regular office hours at the Westfield Annex of the County Clerk are 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays; 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays. The regular office hours in Elizabeth are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The County Clerk’s office has processed more than 10,000 mail-in ballots to date for the Presidential Election and expects the number to exceed 17,000 by Election Day, Tuesday, November 6.
To obtain a Vote-By-Mail application, voters may download the form at the Clerk’s website: http://ucnj.org/vote-by-mail, but they must bring the completed application to either of the County Clerk’s offices by Saturday, November 3, between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., or on Monday, November 5, before 3:00 p.m. For more information, please contact the County Clerk’s office at 908-527-4996.