With less than three weeks remaining until Election Day, New Jerseyans have returned 270,719 vote-by-mail ballots for the November 8 general election, 28.6% of the 945,435 ballots already mailed by county election officials, according to tallies compiled by Ryan Dubicki of the Associated Press.
In the closely watched 7th district, where Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) face Republican Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield), the former minority leader of the New Jersey State Senate, 32.6% of all mail-in ballot have been returned.
Of the 30,241 returned ballots, 59.2% are from Democrats, 25.8% from Republicans, and 14.7% from unaffiliated voters. Registered Democrats accounted for 50.9% of all ballots requested, while Republicans are 24.1% of the pool of ballots mailed by county clerks.
Of the 17,901 returned vote-by-mail ballots in NJ-7, 31.2% came from Union County, 21.6% from Somerset, 19.6% from Hunterdon, 11.5% from Warren, 11% from Morris, and 5% from Sussex.
In New Jersey’s 3rd district, 35% of VBM ballots sent out by Burlington, Mercer and Monmouth election officials have been returned. Of that group, 66.8% have come from Demcorats, 20.3% from Republicans, and 12.6% from unaffiliated voters.
In that district, Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) faces Republican Bob Healey, a businessman and first-time candidate who also lives in Moorestown.
The rate of returned vote-by-mail ballots in the 5th district, where Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) faces a rematch with former investment banker Frank Pallotta, matches the statewide average of 28.6%. Democrats make up 54% of all returned VBMs, followed by Republicans (18.3%) and unaffiliateds (27.2%).
So far, the number of VBM ballots that have come back in the 11th district is at 26%, nearly three percentage points behind the statewide average.
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) faces former Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor Paul DeGroot in a race where the GOP is seeking to flip back a seat they held for 34 years prior to a Democratic win in 2018. The returned mail-in ballot pool is 57.2% Democratic, 17.5% Republican, and 25% unaffiliated.
The numbers also include some returned military ballots and in-person early votes made at the board of election offices.