New Jersey: Ocean County Republicans and Democrats fight over voting machines | Erik Larsen/Asbury Park Press
Ocean County will spend $2.75 million on equipment needed to meet the requirements of the state’s new in-person early voting law that goes into effect for the first time in the general election this fall. Between Oct. 23 and Halloween night, the county’s voters will be able to choose among 10 polling places throughout Ocean County — regardless of what town they live in — to cast an early vote in this year’s elections for governor, Legislature, county commission, municipal office, as well as for their local and regional school boards. Of course, voters who value tradition over convenience can still cast their ballot on Election Day itself — which falls on Nov. 2 this year — at their regular local polling place on the county’s existing voting machines, just as they always did before the COVID-19 pandemic. The county Board of Commissioners unanimously authorized a spending ordinance for the new early voting machines at its Wednesday meeting — bonding $2.6 million of the amount — with the money to be reimbursed by the state of New Jersey at a future date. The choice of voting equipment to be purchased has been the subject of some controversy, with county Democrats and Republicans divided on the matter along partisan lines at the otherwise bipartisan Ocean County Board of Elections.