The upcoming election has not yet taken place, with every active New Jersey voter receiving a ball-in ballot that must be postmarked no later than Nov. 3, election day.
But not every voter will use their ballot, some will go to the polls to vote in person on a provisional ballot paper.
With all these ballot papers, how long will it take for the votes to be counted and when will we know the election result?
“It depends on the behavior of the voter,”; said Alicia D’Alessandro, spokesperson for the state secretary.
“The more people who cast a ballot mailed to them, the more likely we are to complete the results sooner,” he said. “The more people who vote in person, the longer the ballot counting process will expand on Election Day.”
He said some provinces have already begun to prepare their ballots for counting, opening external envelopes so they can verify the signatures along with those on file.
“They need a lot of that work before Election Day,” D’Alessandro said, speeding up the process.
Although election officials may begin counting ballots 10 days before Election Day, they will not announce any proposals before polls close at 8 p.m. on November 3.
“Hudson County, like all New Jersey counties, will post results for the first time after 8 p.m. on Election Night. They are incomplete, but we definitely aim to be big these are now that we can start counting 10 days before Election Day, “said Michael Harper, clerk for the Hudson County Election Board.
But counties will not be able to begin counting the provisional ballots voted by voters arriving at the polls until the final mail-in ballot is counted.
“Everyone will cross check to make sure no individual is casting more than one vote,” Harper said.
Also, although many provinces are expected to post preliminary results on their websites, they are not required to do so, D’Alessandro said.
How easy it is to call for races or ballot questions depends on the margin of countless ballots at the end of the night, D’Alessandro said.
“If a candidate leads by more than the margin of the remaining ballots, that race can be called,” he said. “If there are more ballots left than the margin of votes between the two candidates, then it will take as long as necessary to count them and get a result for the election.”
For example, let’s say six million ballots were sent and we know that four million ballots arrived on Election Day. This will leave the remaining two million ballots.
In most cases, we do not know how many of those ballots were cast and not counted, or how many voters simply did not vote, making winning projects more difficult based on the initial margins in Election Day.
D’Alessandro said this has happened before, and there are delays for the upcoming race when many ballots are counted.
“There is no obligation or formal legal hope that we have Election Night results. It has been customary for most modern history. There is a reason that Inauguration Day will not take place until January,” he said, noting George Washington’s inauguration was in April and the subsequent inauguration was in March to 1933, when they moved in January.
So when will we know?
“It will take as long as it takes to count them. It absolutely does not mean anything wrong or there is any reason for the alarm,” said D’Alessandro. “We hope the counting will continue after Election Day and will count officials vote every vote. “
Here are the important dates for the election:
October 24: Counties may begin counting ballots by mail.
Nov. 3: Election Day. Machine votes will be tabulated.
November 10: This is the last day for counties to receive ball-in ballots through the mail service. The cut-off time is 8 pm
November 10 after 8 p.m.: This is the earliest county can begin counting ballots as long as the mail-in ballot count is completed.
Nov 18: This is the last day to heal a ballot with a signature problem.
November 23: This is the deadline for counties to report results to the Secretary of State.
December 9: The Secretary of State approves the election results.
Dec 14: Electoral College meets.
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Karin Price Mueller can be reached at [email protected].