New Jersey's 12th Legislative District

Senator Samuel Thompson

Senator Sam Thompson

Thompson: Voters Who Bring VBM Ballots to Polling Center Should Be Allowed to Vote by Machine

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Senator Sam Thompson said he has urged Governor Phil Murphy to allow voters who bring their unopened vote-by-mail (VBM) ballots to a polling center on Election Day to cast their votes in a machine.

Sen. Sam Thompson said he has urged Gov. Murphy to allow voters who bring their unopened VBM ballots to a polling center on Election Day to cast their votes in a machine. (

“My office is being inundated with calls and emails from people who are livid that they are being forced by executive order to vote in the upcoming presidential election by mail-in ballot,” said Thompson (R-12). “They trust the security of a voting booth and they are willing to tolerate whatever risk is associated with spending the five minutes it takes to cast their ballot in-person to ensure their vote is counted.”

Last week, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 177 which requires every registered voter to be sent a VBM ballot. Under the terms of the order, mail-in ballots can be returned by mail, dropped in secure drop boxes, or turned in at a polling center on Election Day.

The order provides for the casting of a paper provisional ballot at a polling center on Election Day as the only alternative to voting by mail-in ballot. The order does not allow for regular machine voting at polling centers, which Thompson said his constituents are demanding.

“I told the governor that if he’s allowing voters to deliver their completed mail-in ballots to polling centers on Election Day, he should consider allowing them to vote by machine if they can provide poll workers with their unopened mail-in ballots,” added Thompson. “That would provide voters the opportunity to vote using the method they prefer while preventing duplicate ballots from being cast by a voter. I sincerely hope the governor considers this option as a way to alleviate widespread concerns with the VBM general election he has ordered for November.”

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