Update, 10:15 p.m.: New Jersey voters appear to have expanded the veterans’ property tax deduction by making veterans eligible for the $250 even if they didn’t serve during a time of war or emergency.

As of 10:15 p.m., with about 60 percent of precincts in, the yes votes had what appeares to be an overwhelming lead — 77 percent to 23 percent.

Last year, 76% of voters approved a somewhat similar constitutional amendment expanding the deduction to cover wartime veterans who live in continuing care retirement communities and weren’t eligible because they don’t directly own their homes.

See here throughout Election Day and Night for updates, as well as unofficial results as they come in. Results will not include provisional ballots cast on Election Day, and may not include all mail-in or machine votes. 

With a presidential election and congressional races, the proposed amendment is receiving little campaign-season attention. It is also overshadowed by two other public questions on the ballot: one legalizing recreational marijuana, the other delaying legislative redistricting if census results come late.

“The proposed purpose of this constitutional amendment is to make sure that New Jersey veterans receive recognition for their deserved time that they served in our military, and our state to provide the same benefits that others are provided throughout the country, no matter what role you played or what time you served in the armed forces,” said Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker, D-Essex.

Fiscal analysts with the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services estimate around 53,000 peacetime veterans will qualify for the deduction if the change is approved. If they each receive it, that would cost the state around $13.6 million to start.

— Previous reporting by Michael Symons

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