Hudson County officials roll out plans for early voting, using new voting equipment

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Hudson County officials from the clerk’s office and board of elections rolled out their plans for early voting, as well as using new voting equipment, at a press conference this morning.

“The governor signed a new bill this year that establishes early voting in the State of New Jersey from the dates of October 23rd to … October 31st … Based on that, we’ve had to buy new equipment that will allow us to facilitate that early voting process,” said Hudson County Clerk E. Junior Maldonado

John Brzozowski, the Hudson County deputy superintendent of elections, said that the county has 416,571 registered voters as of October 1st.

The new equipment, which was purchased through a state grant, is 139 electronic voter machines “that could handle any ballot style” and 1,098 electronic poll books.

He noted that number of electronic poll books were necessary since every district in the county is required to have two.

There will be four early voting booths in Jersey City, and one a piece in Bayonne, Hoboken, Union City, Kearny, West New York, and North Bergen, their website shows.

Hudson County Board of Elections Clerk Michael Harper demonstrated how to use the electronic poll book, showcasing that a voter can easily be identified by their name and birthday before signing there name.

As long as everything checks out, a poll worker is then able to verify their details and issue them a ballot. The activation card has a bar code that allows the voting machine to identify the correct ward and district.

When entered into the machine, the voter can then choose English or Spanish, select their candidates, and then print their ballot. After checking their selections, the voter can then cast their ballot with the press of a single button.

During a short question and answer session with the media, Maldonado acknowledged a statewide poll worker shortage throughout the state, though indicated early voting poll workers will make over $22 an hour and that all elected officials are working together on this.

“Mike [Harper] does an excellent job of going out there and recruiting, through his office, and the three of us have taken on a college tour. We went to NJCU yesterday, we’re going to St. Peter’s University today, in order to speak to students at the college level and get them involved, engaged and compromise in terms of being poll workers for us.”

The non-partisan November 2nd municipal elections are highlighted by the Jersey City mayor and council races and the Hoboken council-at-large contest, though there are also board of education races with at least six candidates running in Bayonne, Jersey City, and Secaucus, respectively.

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