More than 250,000 New Jerseyans already have decided to vote early this year using "no excuse" absentee ballots. Voters can still apply in person until 3 p.m. Monday.

In the past, voters had to give a reason, such as travel or illness, to vote via absentee ballot. Since 2005 in New Jersey, they no longer do.

People "like the fact they can vote after work," Gloucester County Clerk James Hogan said. "They like voting on Saturdays" at the mall.

Voters can get absentee-ballot applications at county stores in Camden and Gloucester Counties this weekend or from any county clerk's office on weekdays. Completed ballots are due back to county clerks by 8 p.m. Election Day.

As of Tuesday, Gloucester County had received 10,406 applications and expects 12,000 by Election Day, Hogan said. That's up from 7,080 in 2004.

"It's an energized electorate," Hogan said.

Though the response has been overwhelmingly positive, some people worry that their votes won't be counted, Hogan said.

Camden County Deputy Clerk Albert Mungioli said that absentee votes are counted manually, beginning on the morning of Election Day, and results are reported that night along with machine totals on the county Web site.

Camden County had sent out 16,940 absentee applications as of Tuesday, up from 11,448 in 2004, Mungioli said.

"That's 17,000 who won't have to stand in line Tuesday," he said.

As in Gloucester County, Camden County voters can pick up absentee applications at the county stores at the Cherry Hill and Echelon Malls on Saturday.

In Burlington County, however, applications are available only at the county clerk's office in Mount Holly. County Clerk Wade Hale had sent out 13,900 applications as of Tuesday.

Statewide, clerks in the 21 counties received 255,340 applications by Tuesday's mail-in absentee deadline.

This week, all registered voters will receive sample ballots in the mail from the nonpartisan League of Women Voters. The ballots list all candidates' names, explain ballot questions, and contain the location and hours of the recipient's polling place.

Absentee Voting

Registered voters can apply in person for an absentee ballot until 3 p.m. Monday. Ballots must be returned to county election headquarters by 8 p.m. Tuesday. Instructions are on the ballot.

Where to get an application:

Burlington County: County Clerk's Office, 49 Rancocas Rd., Mount Holly. Weekdays only. 609-265-5186.

Camden County: County stores at Cherry Hill and Echelon Malls, weekdays and Saturday; or 520 Market St. or 600 Market St., Camden, weekdays. 856-225-7220

Gloucester County: Deptford Mall County Store, weekdays and Saturday; election headquarters, 550 Grove Rd., West Deptford, weekdays and Sunday. 856-384-4531.