State’s Primary Election Coming to a Mailbox Near You

The New Jersey Primary Election will be conducted primarily as a vote by mail (VBM) election. The primary will be held July 7, 2020.

A primary election is held each year to choose the candidates for public office (not local school boards) from the Democrat and Republican parties whose names will appear on the general election ballot.

The 2020 general election will be held on November 3.

This primary election status follows a May 15 executive order signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in response to the spread of the coronavirus.

The change called for some alterations in primary election voting procedure.

Because this is a VBM election, the number of open polling places on July 7 have been reduced. (See list below.)

Here’s a breakdown.


All active Republican and Democrat party voters will automatically be mailed a VBM ballot.

All unaffiliated or inactive Republican or Democrat party voters will automatically receive a VBM application specifically designed for the July 7 primary election. Such voters must return this application to their respective county clerk’s office by June 30. This application will require the voter to declare affiliation to either the Republican or Democrat Party.

Upon receipt, the county clerk will mail that voter a VBM ballot for the party of their choice.

The VBM application for party affiliation for the July 7 primary will be accepted in-person at the respective county clerk’s election office until 8 p.m., July 7.

All VBM applications and ballots do not require stamps. All have prepaid return postage.


For voters using the U.S. Postal Service, the ballot must be postmarked on or before July 7, and received by the Board of Elections by 8 p.m., July 14, to be considered valid and to be canvassed.

Voters will have the option of depositing their ballots in secure drop boxes. (See the list for Morris and Sussex counties below.)

The deadline for delivering your ballot by this method is 8 p.m., July 7.

A voter can choose to deliver their VBM in person.

Such a ballot must be delivered to the correct County Board of Elections office by 8 p.m., July 7.

Some special instructions

If someone other than the voter is delivering the ballot to the Board of Elections that person must they fill out and sign the Bearer Section on the left-back side of the return envelope.

A voter may choose to deliver their VBM ballot in person to the Board of Elections. That voter must provide identification.

No sample ballots will be mailed for the primary election this year. The VBM ballot each voter receives replaces the sample ballot for the 2020 primary election.

If voters choose to vote by mail, they are not allowed to also vote in person on July 7.

A voter choosing to vote in person on July 7 (and not via VBM ballot) will be issued a provisional paper ballot on that day.

VBM ballots will not be accepted at polling places on July 7.

Secure Drop Boxes

These boxes will have been installed by June 15. They are similar to a U.S. Postal Service box, but are red, white and blue, and marked, “Official Ballot Drop Box.” They are outside and under 24-hour surveillance.

Morris County:

Morris County Administration & Records Building, 10 Court Street, Morristown.

Mount Olive Municipal Building, 204 Flanders/Drakestown Road.

Rockaway Twp. Municipal Building, 65 Mount Hope Road.

Montville Municipal Building, 195 Changebridge Road.

Madison Municipal Building, Hartley Dodge Memorial Building, 50 Kings Road.

Sussex County:

Vernon Municipal Building, 21 Church Street.

Hardyston Municipal Building, 149 Wheatsworth Road.

Sparta Municipal Building, 65 Main Street.

Hopatcong Municipal Building, 111 Rover Styx Road.

Newton Municipal Building, 43 Trinity Street.

Polling Places:

Morris County:

Jefferson: Municipal Building, 103 Weldon Road.

Mount Arlington: Civic Center, 18 North Glen Avenue.

Netcong: Municipal Building, 23 Maple Avenue.

Roxbury: Municipal Building, 1715 Route 46.

Wharton: American Legion Hall, 19 North Main Street.

Sussex County:

Hopatcong: Fire House, 440 Maxim Drive and Fire House, 43 Hopatchung Road.

Sparta: Fire Department Headquarters, 141 Woodport Road, and First Presbyterian Church, 32 Main Street.

Stanhope: American Legion Hall, No. 278, 119 State Route 183.

For additional information:

Morris County Clerk:


Sussex County Clerk:

973-579-0900, ext. 1507

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