“New Jersey Election Officials Scramble on First Mostly Mail-In Vote”

From the WSJ:

New Jersey’s election system will be tested in the coming weeks as most voters will be casting their ballots for the presidential election by mail or dropping them off for the first time in the state’s history.

The state is one of four in the U.S. that this year opted to automatically mail ballots to voters to minimize in-person voting to limit the spread of the coronavirus. A handful of other states, including Utah and Oregon, already take the approach for every election.

Local election officials have begun delivering nearly six million ballots statewide to active registered voters, the most ever mailed in the state. More than 1.25 million ballots had been returned as of Thursday, according to the New Jersey Secretary of State’s office, or 32% of the total number who voted in the 2016 presidential election. . . .

County clerks and boards of elections have also been inundated with queries from voters asking why the election process changed this year or to inquire about the status of their ballots.

“Phones are ringing all day long with questions,” said John Hogan, the Bergen County clerk. . . .

Nicole DiRado, administrator for the Union County Board of Elections, said her office hired 50 seasonal workers for the election and was expecting to receive about 200,000 mail-in and drop-off ballots to count. That will shatter the county’s record for absentee ballots set in 2018 when it received 19,000 ballots, she said.

“I know at the end of the day we will have run a fair, transparent, successful election,” Ms. DiRado said. “I know that. It’s just getting there—honestly, it’s overwhelming.”

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