Union Joanne Rajoppi, County Clerk
Address: Union County Courthouse, 2 Broad Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07207
As the County Clerk I am pleased to acquaint you with the broad range of services and functions our office performs. From the recording and filing of all land transactions within the 21 municipalities of our county to the processing of Passports and elections, we are always available to assist and direct you in your needs.
We invite you to download our free Union County Votes App for ioS, android phones and tablets. It will give you instant access to the vital tools of voting and accurate election information.
– Joanne Rajoppi
How increased demand for vote-by-mail ballots could influence the Assembly election
By Briana Vannozzi, Correspondent of NJ-TV | October 31, 2019, 5PM EST
The unprecedented increase in requests for vote-by-mail ballots could have a major influence on this year’s Assembly election outcome, especially in areas like Somerset and Union County – the battlegrounds for the state’s only competitive races.
According to the state Division of Elections, there were 596,993 vote-by-mail ballots requested as of Thursday. NJTV News has obtained data showing 275,429 of those went to Democrats, 149,540 to Republicans and another 169,247 for unaffiliated voters, not including third parties.
“We are up to 30,000 vote-by-mails that we sent out. Which is a very high number for us. I think in the highest presidential activity, we did 16,000,” said Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi.
Rajoppi’s office has been pilot-testing the state’s first “ballot-on-demand” technology to keep up with requests. The machine custom prints ballots on the spot for voters, using their name and district.
The uptick in interest likely stems from a bill that Gov. Murphy signed into law back in August, providing automatic vote-by-mail enrollment for anyone who used it during the last three election years, unless they opt out. If all goes smoothly, county clerks say it should cut down on the burden it created.
“I have 66 different ballot formats and pick from one of them to get your exact ballot, check it to make sure it’s the right ballot and then give it to you,” said Rajoppi. She went on to call the process “time consuming, labor intensive and very costly.”
“It was at least $3 million to implement the most recent three elections,” said executive director of the New Jersey Association of Counties, John Donnadio. “That doesn’t include the special elections, the fire district elections and municipal elections, and it doesn’t include all of the costs moving forward.”
After Murphy put the $2 million set aside by the legislature in his so-called lock box during the budget, Donnadio filed a case with the state Council on Local Mandates over the cost. While the case is still pending, the counties are feeling the pinch.
“The last time the legislature was top of the ticket, we had about 57,000 ballots cast county wide, and we’ve mailed out 29,000 vote-by-mail ballots,” said Somerset County Clerk Steve Peter.
The number of vote-by-mail ballots skyrocketed between the 2017 and 2018 general elections, when the law originally went to into effect, up from 182,744 to 400,136 residents.
“There’s no question that the automatic vote-by-mail ballot measure that we have now … is benefiting the Democrats and that’s because the Democrats saw this coming, worked with the governor to get this done and were preparing for it in a way that Republicans were not,” said Patrick Murray of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Democrats say the effort expands the process to more residents, despite their nearly one million voter edge over Republicans in the state. Even for a low turnout year, the vote-by-mail numbers are expected to reach new heights.
Residents planning to vote by mail have until 3 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 4 to come in person, fill out an application and receive a ballot. The deadline to submit it in person is 8 p.m. on election night. Ballots postmarked by Election Day will still be accepted up to 48 hours after.
Sample Ballots for Union County Voters Now Available Online
Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi announces that sample ballots for the November 5 General Election can be viewed and downloaded on the County Clerk’s elections website unioncountyvotes.com, and through the Union County Votes app, a free download for all mobile devices.
Ms. Rajoppi’s office also mails sample ballots to every registered voter after the close of voter registration, approximately 10 days before the election.
“The website and app offer a convenient way for voters to familiarize themselves with their ballot, even before they receive their copy in the mail,” said Rajoppi.
Voters with any questions about their sample ballots can call the County Clerk’s Elections Division, 908-527-4996 or email the Elections Division at email@example.com.
For all County Clerk programs and services visit online at ucnj.org/county-clerk or call 908-527-4787.
Union County Clerk Introduces New Pilot Project for Vote-by-Mail Ballots
Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi invites Vote-by-Mail users to participate in a new pilot project for voters who plan to pick up their ballot in person and cast it in the November 5th General Election. Instead of receiving a ballot printed in advance, voters can have their ballot custom-printed on the spot. The new “ballot on demand” service is available at the County Clerk’s Main Office in the County Courthouse at 2 Broad Street, Room 113 in Elizabeth.
Vote-By-Mail Ballots Available on Tuesday, October 1 for the General Election
Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi announces that Vote-by-Mail ballots will be available in the County Clerk’s Offices in Elizabeth and Westfield starting on Tuesday, October 1 to registered voters who wish to cast their Vote-by-Mail ballot for the 2019 General Election.
Election Day 2019 is on Tuesday, November 5. The deadline to apply for a Vote-By-Mail ballot through the mail is Tuesday, October 29 and the application must be received by the County Clerk’s Office before or on this date.
The deadline to apply in person at the County Clerk’s office is Monday, November 4, by 3:00 p.m.
“We encourage voters to use a Vote-by-Mail ballot. It is a secure, convenient way to avoid a last-minute rush or unforeseen delays on Election Day,” said Ms. Rajoppi.
Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi Offers Notary Training Seminar, Sept. 6
Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi will host a Notary Training Seminar for New Jersey Notaries Public at the John H. Stamler Police Academy, Second Floor Multipurpose Room, at 1776 Raritan Road in Scotch Plains on Friday, September 6, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi will make opening remarks and review the application process. Union County Surrogate James LaCorte, Esq. will speak about the legal aspects of the functions of notaries public.
“The notary training seminar is designed to provide notaries with insight and information from experienced, knowledgeable professionals in the community,” said Ms. Rajoppi. “The course covers all aspects of being a notary.”
The seminar will cover the steps for proper notarization and other topics, including how to complete a notary journal and how to examine identification documents. Coffee and a light breakfast will be served.
“The seminar is also popular with current notaries who wish to ensure that they are up to date on issues affecting notaries,” said Ms. Rajoppi. “We offer this opportunity as a professional course that benefits the whole community, and all are welcome.”
To register, use the downloadable form on the County Clerk website, ucnj.org/county-clerk. If you have any questions, contact Donna Connell, 908-527-4999 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Space is limited to the first 50 registrants.
A registration fee of $10.00 includes a light breakfast and is required in advance to secure registration.
Attendees should note that the Business Casual dress code at the John J. Stamler Police Academy is strictly enforced. Jeans and sneakers are not permitted, and men must wear shirts with collars.