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32% of vote-by-mail ballots returned

Returned mail ballots represent 4.4% of all registered voters

By Joey Fox, October 18 2021 12:43 pm

With just over two weeks to go until Election Day, the state Division of Elections is reporting that 290,232 mail-in ballots have been returned out of 917,444 sent out – a return rate of 32% thus far.

Those approximately 290,000 votes represent 4.4% of all registered voters in the state, and likely more than a tenth of the total votes that will be cast in this year’s election. In the 2017 New Jersey elections, 2,198,362 votes were cast for a turnout rate of 38.5%.

According to recent polling by Monmouth University, a majority – 54% – of New Jersey respondents said they plan on voting in-person on Election Day, while 35% said they’d vote by mail. Vote-by-mail rates in the state were once far lower, but the onset of Covid and the shift to predominantly vote-by-mail elections in 2020 has made an increasing number of voters, particularly Democrats, choose to vote via absentee ballot.

Another 6% of respondents in the Monmouth poll said they’d vote early in-person, an option that did not exist in the state until this year.

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