Somerset County Clerk Announces Extended Hours to Assist Voters with Obtaining Ballots Prior To July 7 Primaries
County Erects a Tent at Veterans Plaza to Allow for Social Distancing to Protect Voters and Staff From COVID-19
SOMERVILLE – The Somerset County Clerk’s office will hold extended hours leading up to the July 7 Democratic and Republican primaries to issue vote-by-mail ballots, including being open on Friday, July 3. Any eligible voter who has not cast a ballot in this primary election can come to the Somerset County Administration Building at 20 Grove Street in Somerville during office hours to request and obtain a ballot.
Because the Administration Building is closed to the public due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Somerset County Clerk’s Office has erected a 20- foot by 30-foot tent in Veterans Plaza next to the building. The tent will be laid out to allow for staff and voters to be socially distant while applying for and filling out ballots. The tent will be air-conditioned, as well.
“Given the unprecedented nature of this election with the preponderance of votes being cast using mail-in ballots, we will be open on the July 3 national holiday to support Somerset County’s voters,” said Somerset County Clerk Steve Peter. “To protect our staff and the voting public from COVID-19, we felt it best to put up the tent to protect everyone from the weather and allow for social distancing while they are obtaining and filling out ballots.”
The Clerk’s tent will be open on Friday, July 3 and Monday, July 6 from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. The tent will be open on Tuesday, July 7 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. when the polls close.
“Any registered voter who has not already sent in a ballot can come to the tent and apply for, then receive a ballot,” said Peter. “Unaffiliated voters can participate in either primary by declaring membership in a party, and voters who have misplaced or damaged the ballot mailed to their homes are also eligible to get a replacement ballot.”
After receiving their ballot at the tent, voters can immediately cast their vote by filling out the ballot, following the directions for sealing the certificate and mailing envelope, and either mailing the ballot or placing it in the Ballot Drop Box in front of the Administration Building. Ballots that are postmarked by July 7, and are received within one week will be considered valid.
For help in filling out and casting a ballot, please see this video developed by the Clerk’s office at https://bit.ly/VBMVideo2020
Voters will only be able to vote at polling places using provisional paper ballots on election day and are encouraged instead to take advantage of the ballots mailed directly to their address of record.
Voters requiring additional support can contact the Clerk’s office at 908-231-7013 or use an ADA compliant voting device at a polling place.