Five weeks out from Election Day, N.J. voters are casting ballots by mail

Sample application for a vote by mail ballot

Sample application for a vote by mail ballot

Election Day is still five weeks away, but some New Jersey residents have already cast their ballots.

Those registered voters can vote by mail for any reason.

Jesse Burns, executive director of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, said the option is becoming more popular.

“Having Election Day on Tuesday, a set amount of hours isn’t really that convenient for a lot of people and the kind of life that we live now, kids and work and things like that,” Burns said. “So knowing that you can vote ahead of time on your own schedule is a lot more convenient for our modern society.”

In 2003, only 2.5 percent of New Jersey votes came from mail-in ballots. In the 2015 election, it was up to 9.8 percent.

Burns acknowledged some disadvantages to voting by mail.

“A lot of people like the community feeling of voting at the polling place, so you lose a little bit of that,” she said. “There’s no guarantee that something won’t happen to your vote-by-mail ballot in the mail system. It might get lost. It might not make it there on time.”

And Burns said some voters might want to wait until Election Day to see if the candidates do anything that would make them change their opinion about how to cast their ballot.

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