Home>Campaigns>N.J. early votes now top 171,000

Gov. Phil Murphy votes in Long Branch on October 23, 2021. (Pool Photo: John Jones/ NJ Advance Media).

N.J. early votes now top 171,000

28% of all ballots cast in 2017 are already in

By David Wildstein, October 31 2021 11:31 am

New Jerseyans have cast 622,593 votes for Tuesday’s general election, including 32,021 early votes on Saturday.

The tallies don’t include vote-by-mail ballots that were returned to election officials on Friday and Saturday.

Turnout is now at 9.5% statewide, but 28% of the total number of votes cast the last time New Jersey elected a governor, in 2017.

So far, 171,070 New Jerseyans have taken advantage of the state’s first nine-day early voting period, but both parties are gearing up for an early voting push for Sunday.

That number represents 2.6% of all registered voters and 7.8% of all votes cast four years ago.

Early voting closes at 6 PM today. Voters can still vote in person on Monday by paper ballot until 3pm at their county clerk’s office.

As of Friday, 451,523 VBM ballots were marked as received – 47% of the total number of mail-in ballots issued by county clerks across the state. The number of returned mail-in ballots already returned is 147% higher than it was in 2017, and 13% higher than 2018.

According to an analysis by the Rebovich Institute of New Jersey Politics at Rider University, Democrats have outpaced the GOP by a 59.7%-22,5% margin in early votes and VBMs.

While 2020 was an outlier – the coronavirus pandemic forced primary and general elections run almost entirely through vote-by-mail ballots – the number of VBM ballots has skyrocketed since the new law became effective four years ago.

New Jersey has 6,561,568 registered voters, but that tally does not include new voter registrations that came in before the October 12 deadline.  There were 2,198,362 votes cast four years ago.

Early voting in New Jersey stared on October 23 and extends through October 31.  These numbers do not include early voting tallies.

Mail-in ballots can be sent through the U.S. Postal Service – although some election officials strongly recommend against that – and can be deposited in secure ballot drop boxes across the state.  Click HERE for a list of drop box locations.

Voters can track their own vote-by-mail ballots.  Click HERE to sign in to your Track My Ballot account or click HERE to sign up.

Nine days of early voting began on October 23.  Click HERE for a list of early voting locations.

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