Early voting comes to Princeton

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Princeton voters won’t have to wait until Nov. 7 to cast their ballots in the general election, under state law that permitted early voting to begin Oct. 28, according to Mercer County officials.

Early voting began Oct. 28 and runs through Nov. 5, said Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello.

Voters can cast their ballots Monday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., and on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., at any of seven early voting locations in Mercer County.

In Princeton, voters will choose from among five candidates for three seats on the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education.

There is no contest for two seats on the Princeton Council, which drew two candidates – both Democrats – for two open seats.

A special bond referendum question that seeks voter approval for $13 million for the Princeton Public Schools also is on the ballot.

At the Mercer County and state level, voters will choose from among Democratic and Republican candidates for Mercer County Executive, the Mercer County Board of County Commissioners and the Mercer County Sheriff, as well as a state senator and two assembly members.

Voters who choose to vote in person – either by voting early or on Election Day – will cast their ballots on new voting machines, Covello said. The new machines have a verifiable paper trail.

Mercer County purchased the new voting machines from Dominion Voting Systems, which is a state-certified voting machine manufacturer, she said. They were chosen because they are easy to use, have a paper back-up and do not read from a bar code.

The new voting machines are part of Mercer County’s plan to resolve and prevent problems in ballot processing and tabulation that plagued the November 2022 general election process. There were widespread voting machine breakdowns.

Mercer County purchased the new voting machines to avoid transporting paper ballots to polling locations, Covello said. The new voting machines allow voters to use a touch screen device to print out ballot selections, which they will scan into the voting machine.

Voters may enlarge the voting screen font by touch, or pull up the ballot in English and Spanish, she said. Voters who prefer to hand-mark their ballots can print a paper ballot and fill it out with a black pen or marker.

The paper ballots will be taken to the Mercer County Board of Elections after the polls close on Election Day as a backup, she said.

Covello said that “no matter where you live in Mercer County, you can vote your specific ballot at any of the designated in-person early voting locations.”

In Princeton, the early voting site is at the Princeton Shopping Center at 301 North Harrison St.

The Lawrence Branch of the Mercer County Library System on the corner of Brunswick Pike and Darrah Lane; the Hickory Corner Branch of the Mercer County Library System at 138 Hickory Corner Road; and the Colonial Fire Co. firehouse at 801 Kuser Road in Hamilton Township are designated as early voting sites.

Also, the Pennington Fire Co. firehouse at 120 Broemel Place in Pennington Borough; the Mercer County Office Park at 1440 Parkside Ave. in Ewing Township; and the Trenton Fire Department headquarters at 244 Perry St. in Trenton, round out the designated early voting locations, officials said.