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A secure ballot drop box in Gloucester County, New Jersey.

Ballot drop box installation should be completed next week

Secure drop boxes to provide alternative to U.S. Postal Service

By David Wildstein, June 19 2020 12:39 am

Secure ballot drop boxes allowing voters to bypass the U.S. Postal Service should be completely installed by next week, according to the New Jersey Secretary of State’s office.

Gov. Phil Murphy required election officials to install five drop boxes in each county as part of an executive order establishing a primary election run almost entirely through vote-by-mail ballots.

County clerks have already begun sending out ballots for the July 7 primary.

The state Division of Elections have purchased 105 drop boxes that are being delivered to county election officials.   All drop boxes will be delivered to counties by the end of today.

Counties have determined where to place each drop box.  Most have not yet announced the locations, although and Atlantic, Gloucester and Hunterdon counties have already posted them online.

Three of the five Gloucester drop boxes are in the 2nd congressional district, the site of a hotly contested primary election.

Each of the drop boxes will have 24/7 surveillance, although state election officials declined to identify how they will be surveilled.  Responsibility for the monitoring will be up to each county.

Board of Elections staff – one Democrat and one Republican from each county — will collect ballots from the drop box once a day.  Those employees will be able to only open the main drop box and retrieve an inner drop box that will remain locked.  The inner box will be opened at the Board of Elections office and ballots will be secured.

Ballots returned to the drop box will be kept separately from those delivered by the post office.

The drop boxes will follow installation and security guidelines recommended by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Elections Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council.

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