Countdown to midterms: 4 times more vote-by-mail ballots in NJ

David Madden
November 04, 2018 - 10:00 pm
Amber McAlister votes during the New York presidential primary election at the Lutheran Church on Winton Road.

Max Schulte/Democrat and Chronicle via USA TODAY NETWORK

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GLASSBORO, NJ (KYW Newradio) -- If you want proof that there’s heightened interest in Tuesday’s midterm elections, you need look no further than New Jersey where the number of voters opting to exercise their franchise by mail is up, dramatically.

Four years ago in the midterm general election, 143,000 New Jerseyans dropped their ballots in the mail. This time around, the number is 554,000 according to the Department of State, that’s an increase of just under 300 percent.

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Ben Dworkin, Director of the Rowan Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship, credits at least some of that to a newly implemented state law.

“Anybody who requested a vote by mail ballot two years ago automatically is signed up for vote by mail ballot this year,” Dworkin told KYW Newsradio.

But overall turnout Tuesday is still a very open question.

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”Are we going to see the same number of people that we typically see vote in a midterm election or is the vote by mail effort going to actually show that we are going to increase the overall number of people?” he added.

Four years ago, the total number of registered voters in the state was pegged at 5.4 million. This midterm, it’s over 5.9 million.