Many residents across the state, and in Monmouth County, are receiving pre-filled Vote by Mail applications at their doorsteps or in their mailboxes.
The applications contain voter information including name and address. This situation has led many to question why they received these applications, how their information was obtained, and who sent the applications to them.
“We have received many calls and inquires in our office and have seen many posts on social media by residents concerned about these applications,” said County Clerk Christine Hanlon. “Some have even questioned whether the County Clerk’s Office sent them.”
These mailings and hand delivered applications are from political candidates and political action organizations. They are not being delivered to voters from County Clerks.
This type of political campaign effort is not a new phenomenon. Political campaigns, organizations, and candidates have been doing this type of voter outreach campaign for years. Voter data is obtained from the Statewide Voter Registration System, which is under the direction of the New Jersey Division of Elections. Certain voter data, like name and address, is considered to be an open public record according to New Jersey law.
Voters who receive this type of pre-filled Vote by Mail application can choose to discard it, or to sign the application and submit it to the County Clerk’s Office in order to obtain a Mail in Ballot for the November general election. If the application is properly completed, and the signature on the application matches the voter signature on file in the Statewide Voter Registration System, the Mail in Ballot will be issued.
Note that when completing the application, a voter has the option of checking the box at the top of the application for one election or for all future elections.
Voters who have questions about this or any other election related matter, may contact the County Clerk’s Elections Office at 732-431-7790.