TRENTON, N.J. - In an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday signed an executive order that postpones statewide elections and requires voters to submit ballots by mail.
"These new measures will ensure that all New Jersey voters are able to safely exercise their right to vote and be engaged in our democracy," Murphy said in a release.
According to Secretary of State Tahesha Way, all elections will be postponed until May 12, at which time voting will be done exclusively by mail.
Special elections and school board elections will be impacted by this shift, and held concurrently with the municipal non-partisan elections currently scheduled for the same date.
"As we continue to face this public health crisis, our team at the Division of Elections is working every day with our local, county, state, and federal partners to protect New Jersey voters and our democracy," Secretary Way said.
“Postponing these upcoming local elections and rescheduling them on May 12th, when they will be conducted exclusively using vote by mail, will reduce the potential risk to health and safety while ensuring that every New Jersey voter has fair and free access to the ballot box."
This is not an unprecedented move for the state. New Jersey has previously modified election procedures during the winter storm of 1982 and, most recently, in the wake of Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
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