Have A Plan To Vote in 2021

By Clarissa Nolde

For the first time in 2021, there are three ways to vote in New Jersey!  We can vote-by-mail, vote early in-person, or vote at our regular polling place on November 2nd.  However you choose to vote, the most important thing is to actually do it!  By voting, you are participating in the democratic process. All elections are important. This year, in addition to the two seats on the Borough Council for which Jeff Jotz and I are running, the entire state legislature and the Governor’s office are on the ballot.

So let’s review each voting option!


Garwood voters on the permanent vote-by-mail list should have received their ballot from the Union County Board of Elections during the week of September 20th.  If you didn’t receive your ballot, or if you’re not sure if you are on the list to vote-by-mail every year, contact the Elections Division of the Union County Clerk’s Office by calling 908-527-4996 or emailing ucvote@ucnj.org.

There’s also still time to request a vote-by-mail ballot by going to http://www.unioncountyvotes.com/, clicking on “Vote By Mail” and following the directions posted there.  Voters can apply for a ballot by mail up to 7 days prior to the election or in-person at the County Clerk’s offices in Westfield or Elizabeth until 3:00 PM the day before the election.  

Vote-by-mail ballots submitted by US Mail must be postmarked no later than Election Day and received no later than six days after the polls close.  A vote-by-mail ballot can also be returned, in person, to the Union County Board of Elections directly by visiting their offices at 271 North Broad Street in Elizabeth.

Of course, the most convenient way to return a vote-by-mail ballot is by using the secure drop box located outside the Garwood Public Library on 3rd Avenue.  Vote-By-Mail ballots must be in the drop box no later than 8 PM on Election Day! 

In-Person Early Voting

The County Clerk has established six early in person voting locations in Union County.  Each location  will be available from October 23rd through October 31st.  The closest location to Garwood is located at Union County College, 1033 Springfield Avenue, Seminar Room A/B, in Cranford.

Please see our earlier blog post on this topic for more details or; visit the Union County Clerk’s website at http://www.unioncountyvotes.com/early-voting-2021-general/ for more information.

Election Day Voting

Election Day is Tuesday, November 2 and many people prefer to vote in person.

Polls are open all across New Jersey from 6:00AM to 8:00PM.  Garwood’s polling places are the Firehouse (District 1), the Recreation Complex (District 2) or the Library (Districts 3 and 4).  If you’re not sure where to vote, your polling place will be listed on the sample ballot mailed to every voter by the Union County Clerk, or you can look it up on the Union County Board of Elections website here: https://ucnj.org/boe/where-do-i-vote/ 

A Final Word

Many of us have busy schedules, so it’s important to choose a method, make a plan to vote, and stick to it.  Make voting a habit, and remember to vote in every election!  Of course, I also hope that you vote for me, Clarissa Nolde, and my running mate Jeff Jotz!  You will find us on Column A on your ballot.  Thank you!

Clarissa Nolde
Garwood Council Candidate