Singleton Introduces Bill to Permit Canvassing of Early Votes, Mail-In Ballots Before Election Day

Trenton – Senator Troy Singleton introduced legislation that would allow county boards of elections to begin canvassing early votes and mail-in ballots before Election Day under certain circumstances.

The bill, S-4257, would allow county boards of elections to begin canvassing early votes cast during the early voting period and mail-in ballots before Election Day under certain conditions. County boards of elections would be permitted to begin canvassing each early vote no earlier than 24 hours after the conclusion of the early voting period. The bill also allows county boards of elections to begin opening the inner envelopes and canvassing each mail-in ballot from the inner envelopes no earlier than ten days prior to the day of the election. The bill prohibits the disclosure of the canvassing results prior to the close of polls on the day of election.

“Voting is a cornerstone of our democracy. Through our efforts to make voting more accessible via vote by mail and early voting, we have encouraged even more New Jerseyans to participate in the electoral process,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “However, this year’s election results were significantly delayed due to the counting of these ballots. By allowing county board of elections to begin processing early votes and VBMs before Election Day, we hope to restore timeliness and confidence in the process, while maintaining and upholding election integrity.”

Singleton previously sponsored the law which expedited the counting of ballots in the 2020 general election, and believes that expediency should be permanently applied to elections going forward.

Under current law, early votes cast during the early voting period may not be canvassed or counted until the polls close on election day. Similarly, mail in ballots may begin to be canvassed or counted on election day.