Being a political junkie, I tend to troll over a variety of websites looking for the latest and greatest information on local, state, and national politics. While looking over the Morris County Clerk’s website I stumbled onto the Civilian Absentee Ballot Application. Reading through the information on the pre-application page and the application itself, I learned that I can choose to receive absentee ballots for all future general elections.
In other words, I can fill out this application and then always have a ballot sent to whatever address that I want so I can be sure to vote in whatever general election is upcoming. I had no idea that I could do this, but it sounds like a great idea!
Some of you may know that I rent an apartment in Tinton Falls which is about an hour and a half from my voting station in Mount Arlington. As such, Election Day always presents a logistical problem for me since I have to factor a three-hour drive into my schedule. Voting by absentee ballot would be much more efficient. Some additional research into the Morris County Clerk’s website shows that no one voted by absentee ballot in Mount Arlington during this year’s election. While that may seem suspect to some people, there were only some 2,493 votes cast in the entire Borough. To assume that there were no absentee ballots cast this year is not that far of a stretch.
However, the ability to have a perpetual absentee ballot is a great option for someone like me who is generally moving to a new place every few years. Sure, I intend to register in which ever municipality where I wind up purchasing a home, but that’s not coming any time soon. Plus, because I’m constantly reading up on the local news I might even be more aware of political issues going on in my hometown than some of the folks who are voting up there anyway!
When you think about it, the application of the perpetual absentee ballot is powerful. Unfortunately, there are some people who just do not want to go to the polling stations to cast their votes. Some might be hindered because of their jobs and others might be hindered because of their personal schedules. In New Jersey, where we do not have early voting, receiving an absentee ballot that has to be mailed in to the County Clerk’s Office some 7 days prior to the election may increase the possibility that more eligible voters will vote.
I’m going to look into this some more, but I’m strongly considering going to an all-absentee ballot, all the time setup for future general elections (school board and primary elections do not apply).