AS MORE THAN 420,000 vote-by-mail ballots make their way into homes throughout Ocean County for the Nov. 3 General Election, officials have announced the locations of 17 vote-by-mail secure ballot drop off box locations.
"The drop off box location provides a secure and easily accessible receptacle for our voters who do not want to mail their ballot back in or travel to the Ocean County Board of Elections," said Ocean County Freeholder Gary Quinn, liaison to the Ocean County Clerk. "We have placed them throughout the County in strategic locations often frequented by our residents.
"These boxes are under 24 hour security surveillance monitored by the County," Quinn said.
The majority of the locations for the boxes are outside branches of the Ocean County Library.
Vote-by-mail ballots can be returned by dropping them off into the secure ballot drop boxes at the following locations:
• Barnegat Township Branch of the Ocean County Library, 112 Burr Street, Barnegat Township
• Beachwood Branch of the Ocean County Library, 126 Beachwood Blvd., Beachwood
• Berkeley Township Branch of the Ocean County Library, 30 Station Road, Bayville
• Brick Township Municipal Building, 401 Chambers Bridge Road, Brick
• Jackson Branch of the Ocean County Library, 2 Jackson Drive, Jackson
• Lacey Township Branch of the Ocean County Library, 10 E. Lacey Road, Forked River
• Little Egg Harbor Branch of the Ocean County Library, 290 Mathistown Road, Little Egg Harbor
• Long Beach Island Branch of the Ocean County Library, 217 S. Central Avenue, Surf City
• Manchester Branch of the Ocean County Library, 21 Colonial Drive, Manchester
• Ocean County Northern Resource Center, 225 4th Street, Lakewood
• Ocean County Parking Garage, 3rd Floor Level – Madison Avenue, Toms River
• Ocean County Southern Service Center, 179 South Main Street, Manahawkin
• PIC Building, 1959 Route 9, Toms River
• Point Pleasant Branch of the Ocean County Library, 834 Beaver Dam Road, Point Pleasant
• Toms River (Main Branch) of the Ocean County Library, 101 Washington Street, Toms River
• Upper Shores Branch of the Ocean County Library, 112 Jersey City Avenue, Lavallette
• Whiting Reading Center of the Ocean County Library, 400 Lacey Road, Suite #5, Whiting section of Manchester Township
Quinn noted that to find the best locations for the boxes, a review of properties owned by the county was undertaken.
"We spaced the boxes out geographically throughout the County to make sure our residents have the opportunity to access this secure means of returning their ballot," he said. "Ballots are picked up from the boxes daily."
Election officials in Ocean County continue to distribute vote-by-mail ballots in accordance with Public Law 2020,Chapter 72 signed by Gov. Murphy which calls for a primarily vote-by mail General Election. All ballots are scheduled to be mailed to voters by Oct. 5.
"We have already distributed over 300,000 vote-by-mail ballots to voters in 30 of our 33 municipalities," said Ocean County Freeholder Virginia E. Haines, who is liaison to the Ocean County Board of Elections. "Staff from every Ocean County department has been assisting in this monumental task."
The remaining ballots for Toms River Township, Brick Township and South Toms River, will be mailed by Oct. 5.
The deadline for placing your ballot in one of the secure drop boxes is 8 p.m., Nov. 3.
Voters seeking additional information are encouraged to visit the Ocean County Clerk website at www.oceancountyclerk.com and click on the View Nov. 3 General Election Information link or visit the Clerk's Facebook page at facebook.com/oceancountyclerk.
The Ocean County Board of Elections can be reached by calling (732) 929-2167.