Click play for audio version of this story
In advance of the 6 AM opening of the polls for the 2019 mid-term elections, 240,564 New Jerseyans cast their votes by mail.
More than two out of five (42.3%) of the 568,959 ballots mailed have already been returned.
Of the mail-in ballots cast statewide, 50.7% came from Democrats and 31.6% from Republicans.
That represents a 110.8% increase in VBM ballots cast in the 2015 mid-term elections, the last time State Assembly candidates headed the ticket.
Democrats have an advantage of nearly 15 percentage points in the 21st district, where GOP incumbents Jon Bramnick and Nancy Munoz are seeking re-election.
In the 25th district, Democrats have returned 495 more VBMs than Republicans, a 7-point edge. Democrats have a 3-point advantage in the 8th, where 318 more mail-in ballots from voters registered with their party have been returned.
Party affiliation on returned VBMS are closer in two other closely-watched legislative districts.
In District 1, where Republican Michael Testa is trying to flip a State Senate seat from incumbent Bob Andrzejczak in a special election, the returned ballots are almost even: 3,552 from Democrats and 3,531 from Republicans.
And in the 39th, registered Democrats have returned 153 more mail-in ballots than Republicans, an edge of a little more than two percentage points.
Democrats have an enormous lead in VBMs in districts where Republicans had hoped to play.
In the 2nd district, returned vote-by-mail ballots favor Democrats by a 54%-30% margin. In the 11th, it’s 47%-35% Democrat, and in the 16th it’s 49%-31%.
There are still 328,395 ballots that were mailed but not yet received by county election officials. Ballots postmarked by today and received by the Board of Elections by close of business of Thursday will be counted.Vote by Mail 11-04-2019