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Monmouth County Clerk Christine Hanlon (FILE PHOTO)

Dems ask Hanlon to correct VBM letter

Monmouth County Clerk already clarifying issue

By David Wildstein, September 14 2018 5:20 pm

A lawyer for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee says that a letter from Monmouth County Clerk Christine Hanlon to vote-by-mail (VBM) voters is “legally incorrect and misleading” and wants her to clarify her statements.

“There is no provision in Title 19 allowing for the removal of mail-in voters from poll books, nor should any individual be removed from a poll book simply because they are exercising their right to vote by mail,” wrote Raj Parikh of Genova Burns.  “While mail-in voters cannot vote on voting machines, they are absolutely permitted to cast a provisional ballot in person in their precinct, and these ballots  are  canvassed  by the Board of Elections upon verification that no mail-in ballot for that voter was returned.”

Parikh said that errors and ambiguities in Hanlon’s letter are likely to cause confusion with voters and requested that the statements be clarified to note that voters can still cast their votes by provisional ballot at their polling location.

Hanlon told the New Jersey Globe that she has not yet received Parikh’s letter, but has already taken steps to let voters know how her office will handle the issue.

“Every affected voter is going to be sent a notice from me,” Hanlon said, noting that she is also using e-mail and her website, as well as addressing the matter through the media.

Hanlon did note that voters will need to use provisional ballots and will not vote by machine.  Voters can also come to her office to cast their ballots in advance of election day.

(Editor’s Note: This story was updated to include comment from Hanlon.)

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