Home>Local>Bergen>In some municipalities, mail-in ballots allow pre-Election Day turnout over total in last vote

In some municipalities, mail-in ballots allow pre-Election Day turnout over total in last vote

Places to watch in today’s vote: Bordentown, Collingswood, Hackensack, Haddonfield, Lyndhurst, Verona and South Orange

By David Wildstein, May 11 2021 2:03 pm

More than one-third of vote-by mail ballots for today’s non-partisan municipal elections in Bordentown, Collingswood, Haddonfield, and Lyndhurst had already been returned by Monday, with some towns already surpassing voter turnout in the 2017 local contests.

As of last night, voter turnout in Collingswood is at 11.9% and 14.2% in Haddonfield have already voted.  That’s significantly higher than Lyndhurst (4.6%), Bordentown (4.1%), Verona (3.7%), Hackensack (3.1%), and South Orange (2.5%).

The Camden County Clerk mailed 2,919 VBM ballots in Collingswood, which represents 25% of the borough’s 11,696 registered voters. Nearly half (47.5%) of the ballots have been returned.   Election officials are awaiting the return of 1,533 mail-in ballots; the universe of possible in-person voters is 11,088.

Turnout in Collingswood four years ago was about 6%, but all three incumbents were running unopposed.

In Haddonfield, 3,980 voters received vote-by-mail ballots, representing 37% of the total electorate of 10,663.  So far, 14% of the mail-in ballots have been cast.

Turnout in Haddonfield in May 2018 was about 10%.  The 1,513 returned VBMs represent an increase in voter turnout even before the polls opened.

All five seats on the Lyndhurst Township Commission are up today, and voters have returned nearly 46% of the 1,586 vote-by-mail ballots issued.  About 10% of all voters received VBMs.  The 725 votes already cast represent roughly a third of the total votes cast four years ago.

Hackensack is also electing their full five-member city council today.  The Bergen County Clerk mailed 2,789 vote-by-mail ballots and 851 of them (30.5%) have been returned.  That puts voter turnout at 10% before the polls opened on Tuesday morning, Turnout in Hackensack in 2017 was about 11% total.

The Essex County Clerk mailed 1,448 VBM ballots in Verona and 1,732 in South Orange, approximate 12% of the total electorate in each municipality.

Verona voters have returned 465 ballots (32%), while the return in South Orange is at just under 21%.   In 2019 municipal elections, turnout in Verona was slightly less than 20%; as of last night, turnout was just under 4%.  South Orange had turnout of roughly 27% in their local races two years ago; with 356 mail-in ballots already cast, polls opened with turnout at around 2.5%.

In Bordentown, which has 3,125 voters, 264 ballots were mailed – 8.4% of the city – and nearly half (48.1%) have already returned their VBM ballots.  That puts the pre-Election Day turnout at 4.1%.

Vote-by-mail ballots can be placed in local drop boxes until 8 PM.  If they are returned through the U.S. Postal Service, ballots postmarked by today will be counted if they are delivered to the county Board of Elections by close of business on Monday.

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