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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Giralo

Perspective / Atlantic County Clerk

Joseph J. Giralo

To The Editor:

Now that all of the things that had to get done by the end of the year, and the holiday season is officially over, Happy New Year!

It’s now time to get back to the everyday grind and plan for all that will take place in 2024! Yes, I said 2024. Time surely doesn’t stop for anyone or anything.

As 2023 concludes, there were many new bills that were proposed in Trenton. Some became law and some went by the way side. Once they are all sorted out and either signed or not into law by the governor, we can begin to see what, if any changes, will be made during the 2024 election cycle.

Bills of interest were possibly moving school board elections back to April, same-day voter registration, allowing 17 year-olds to register prior to a general election and several funding bills that will either help or reimburse for election expenditures.

The new legislature will not be sworn into office until the second week of January. The governor can either sign or veto any of the bills up to that date. It appears that some of these bills appear to be introduced often and go nowhere while some are new and gain approval quickly. No matter the case, if the bill becomes law and it’s signed by the governor, we are all made aware of when the change or new law takes effect.

Some of the pending bills had start dates for 2025 or 2026, thus giving more time for all the changes to take place. One in particular has to do with how an unaffiliated voter will be handled during the primary election cycle. In 2023, the county clerk sent letters to all of the unaffiliated votes slated to receive vote by mail (VBM) ballots if they wanted to declare a party affiliation. If they did, they were mailed a VBM. If they chose not to, they were not sent a VBM for the primary election cycle.

In years prior, an unaffiliated voter received both a Democrat and Republican ballot and could return one or the other. The method (law) that was used last year worked well because only about 2 percent of unaffiliated voters chose to select a party in the primary election. Not only did this save money, it cut down on the confusion that voters face. There are many elections that will take place throughout the county this year.

This year, we will see a municipal election in the city of Ventnor, several Fire District elections, a presidential primary election and a general election with a presidential race.

As always, it’s important to vote and be a part of the system. Have your voice heard. If you’re not registered, you have plenty of time to register. This can be accomplished by going to

If you want to vote by mail or opt out from VBM, it can all be found on our website. If you have any questions you can always contact out office at 609-625-4011.

Lastly, I am always available to speak to any organization about the work of the county clerk’s office.

Joseph J. Giralo

Atlantic County Clerk

Mays Landing, N.J.


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