'No Excuse' Ballot May Determine Outcome of Future New Jersey Races

There's probably no excuse unfamiliar to New Jersey residents who don't vote.

From "the lines were too long" to "had to pick up the kids" to "couldn't get out of work" to "needed to wash my hair" to "had to milk the cows."

But a state law is now allowing busy or apathetic residents to vote in any election by mail with a "no excuse" ballot.

"Everyone now has tremendously busy schedules now, whether it's long commuting schedules or child care issue so sometimes actually getting to the polls during the appropriate hours is tough for some people," said Susan Evans, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Division of Elections.

The heated gubernatorial election between Democratic Gov. John Corzine and Republican challenger Chris Christie is the first time voters were able to request a "no excuse" ballot that  allowed them to avoid the polls for any reason as well as receive a ballot for every general election for the rest of their lives.

The "no excuse" ballot was first signed into law back into 2005 and unlike absentee ballots, voters don't need a disability or a reason they will not be in their voting district on the day of elections.

"We just wanted to see if we could make a more convenient option for people who do have scheduling difficulties," Evans said.

State elections officials issued 185,000 mail-in ballots for Tuesday's race, far less than the 235,000 mail in ballots issued for last year's presidential election. Generally, just 80 percent of absentee ballots that are requested are actually turned back in.

Election officials began counting the mail-in ballots when polls opened and results were expected to be tallied an hour or two after the polls close.

But new requests will allow people to begin asking for ballots forever more. The big question that remains is what effect the in-perpetuity ballots will have on future elections.

Fox News' Gretchen Gailey contributed to this report.