Atlantic County Receives Record Mail-In Ballot Requests

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The Atlantic County Clerk’s Office has received over 15,000 mail-in ballot requests for the 2018 General Election, a record number that is putting pressure on the clerk’s office as it races to confirm signatures on the ballots.

Several voters told Route 40 their signatures were rejected from mail-in absentee ballot or an in-person mail-in ballot.

There have been more rejections than usual because the number of mail-in ballots is so high, said Mike Sommers, deputy county clerk.

“We have to, by statute, verify the signature,” Sommers said. Some voters are using a mail-in ballot for the first time but their signature may have been on file for over a decade and it could have changed over time, he said. Checking the signature is a manual process and multiple staff vet signatures that are flagged with any issues, he added.

“People should be aware their signatures could have issues,” Sommers said.

The deadline for absentee voting is Tuesday. If the signature on a mail-in ballot was rejected, the voter would need to visit the clerk’s office to address the issue before the deadline for in-person mail-in voting, Sommers said. That deadline is Nov. 5 at 3 pm.

If the signature is rejected when a voter uses a mail-in ballot in person, the voter can file a form to update their signature with the superintendent’s office, and the ballot can be accepted the same day, Sommers said.

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