Primary Day in New Jersey means get those ballots mailed in

Voters have until 8 p.m. Tuesday to get their ballots postmarked, put in a county drop box or dropped off in person at the county board of elections.

New Jersey Democrats and Republicans will choose their candidates for president, Senate and House on Tuesday, but because of the COVID-19 outbreak, they'll be doing it mostly by mail-in ballots.

And they may not know the results for several days.

Voters have until 8 p.m. Tuesday to get their ballots postmarked, put in a county drop box or dropped off in person at the county board of elections. Tallying could take awhile, though, because the state set a deadline of July 14 for boards of elections to county timely mailed ballots.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy mandated the nearly all-mail election because of the coronavirus outbreak, but he also required half of a county's polling places to be open for in-person voting.

It won't, though, be traditional in-person voting. Voters will be able to cast a provisional ballot there, meaning officials will count those ballots after officials determined that a ballot sent to the voter's home wasn't cast. All Democratic and Republican voters were mailed ballots with return postage paid, according to the governor.


Unaffiliated voters were sent applications so they could register with a party, if they wanted. New Jersey's primaries are closed to voters not registered with a party.

On the ballot are presidential, Senate and House candidates, including incumbent President Donald Trump and Democratic Sen. Cory Booker. Trump faces no opposition, and while Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden faces Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Biden has already become the party's presumed nominee.

Booker faces primary challenger Lawrence Hamm, who's running on Sanders' Not Me Us slogan. Republican Rik Mehta, a business executive with a law degree and a doctorate in pharmacy has establishment support in many counties. He faces Hirsh Singh, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2017; Patricia Flanagan, of Lawrenceville; Natalie Lynn Rivera, of Merchantville; and Eugene Anagnos, of East Hanover.

The state's 12 House districts are also hosting primaries.

Most attention has focused on two southern New Jersey districts.

In the 2nd District, Democratic candidates include former teacher and Kennedy family member Amy Kennedy. She faces political science professor Brigid Harrison and Booker aide Will Cunningham. The winner of that will most likely take on Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew in November. Van Drew left the Democratic Party this year when he opposed impeaching the president. He faces a primary challenger, Robert Patterson, of Ocean City, but is expected to win.

In the 3rd District, Republicans David Richter and Kate Gibbs are competing to take on freshman Democratic Rep. Andy Kim. Richter, a former executive at Hill International, had planned to run in the 2nd District when Van Drew was still a Democrat, but switched to the 3rd after Van Drew's defection. Candidates need live only in the state, not their particular district, to become a House member.

Gibbs is a former Burlington County freeholder.


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