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New Jersey extends deadline to submit email ballot

Given the overwhelming demand in New Jersey to submit ballots via email or fax, New Jersey's top elections official today extended the deadline for submitting those ballots until Friday. New Jersey voters must still apply for an email or fax ballot by the end of today, Election Day.

Earlier this week, New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno issued a directive allowing New Jersey residents displaced by Superstorm Sandy to apply to vote by email or fax. Today in a new directive, Guadagno wrote, "The response to this expansion has been remarkable, reflecting the civic commitment of New Jersey voters to exercise their franchise even as they are displaced from their homes."

County and state officials are committing "all available resources" to quickly process the applications to vote this way but have been overwhelmed with applications, Guadagno said, "at a rate that outpaces their capacity to process them without an extension of the current schedule."

Initially, county clerks had until tonight to process all applications to vote by email or fax, and voters were expected to return their email or fax ballots by 8 p.m. Voters must still apply by 5 p.m. tonight, but now county clerks have until Noon on Friday, Nov. 9, to approve or deny those applications, ensure the voter in question hasn't already voted, and send them a "waiver of secrecy" and a ballot. Voters then have until 8 p.m. Friday to return those two documents.

Given the large numbers of New Jersey voters applying for email or fax ballots, Guadagno said, "If a displaced voter can vote by other means, they are urged to do so."

New Jersey is a solidly blue state, so the impact of Superstorm Sandy isn't expected to influence the presidential election, but it could affect down-ballot races.