SHARE

What to Know

  • A recently-revised voting law in New Jersey means Tuesday nights general election results wont be the final ones

  • The states new vote-by-mail law requires ballots postmarked up to and including Tuesday, Nov. 6 be counted through Thursday, Nov. 8

  • As of Saturday, tens of thousands of ballots hadnt yet been returned

A recently-revised voting law in New Jersey means Tuesday nights general election results wont be the final ones.

And conveivably, in several house races in the Garden State that polls suggest are neck and neck, Democratic hopes to take control of the House of Representatives in Washington will have to wait until Thursday night or even later if they fall short by two or three seats across the nation.

The states new vote-by-mail law requires ballots postmarked up to and including Tuesday, Nov. 6 be counted through Thursday, Nov. 8, Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin told NBC 4 New York.

As of Saturday, tens of thousands of ballots hadnt yet been returned. A record number of vote-by-mail requests were made in all 21 counties in New Jersey, according to Durkin.

Ballots that arrive on Wednesday and Thursday could tip some races, reversing Tuesday nights voting machine count, Durkin said.

Pundits and polls suggest as many as four of the five house seats held by the GOP in New Jersey could flip from red to blue. If any of them are needed to ensure Democratic control of the lower house, and if they are as close as the polls suggest, the late-arriving votes-by-mail could be the determining factor.

Some polls have suggested Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat, is in a close and bitter race with his GOP opponent, former pharmaceutical CEO Bob Hugin.

If Senate returns in other states result in a 50 to 49 Democratic advantage, Menendez would have to win to ensure the party wins control of the upper house.

So again, a close vote tally Tuesday night would mean the nation would have to await a count of the late-arriving votes-by-mail.

Election officials will also have to compare every mail-in ballot they receive with paper provisional ballots to ensure New Jersey residents havent voted twice — a process that will take time given the mail-in ballots slated to arrive through Thursday.

In addition to deciding Senate and House races, New Jersey voters will be determining the fate of $500 million in bonds meant to go toward school-related initiatives.