New Jersey Board of Elections official optimistic about voter turnout

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ELIZABETH, N.J. (WCBS 880) — Election Day is less than three weeks away and on the last day to register to vote in New Jersey, the state let people register online for the first time ever.

While voters have already begun to cast their ballots in the state, Tuesday was the final day that residents could sign up to vote in the 2020 presidential election.

“I find the system very easy as opposed to processing a paper voter registration form,” said Union County Board of Elections Administrator Nicole DiNardo.

She’s hoping that the online registration will equate to greater turnout at the polls this November. Though, she notes mail-in voting has been going well so far.

“We are looking at voters starting to vote in the middle of September,” DiNardo said. “We’re seeing our numbers in our drop boxes go up every day. So, more and more people are becoming comfortable with it, especially as they understand that we do pick up the ballots every day. They’re not sitting there for days on end.”

DiNardo tells WCBS 880 that she’s encouraged by the amount of people participating in mail-in voting, but she has seen a certain level of skepticism, which she understands.

“You can’t blame anybody. This is so new to New Jersey – I know other states have been doing it for years and years – but it’s new to New Jersey and anything new is going to be a little jarring. Especially when it comes to our vote and especially in a presidential year,” DiNardo said.

She says there is likely to be record voter turnout in this election, given how easy the state has made it for people to cast their ballots.

DiNardo notes that even though mail-in voting is popular, people can still turn up on Election Day to vote in-person.

“We still have to make sure that our polling places are open and staffed and the supplies are there, and the machines are programed,” she says.

DiNardo says the Board of Election is anticipating the need to count ballots up to three weeks after Election Day.

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