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Are Voter ID Laws Dead? That Depends.
09/29/16 |
Publication Date: 
Saturday, October 1, 2016 - 00:00
Excerpt: 

[A]fter eight years of litigation and study, the evidence of in-person voter fraud is still scant. The courts in Texas and North Carolina held that even if lawmakers were concerned about voter fraud, the laws they enacted were not tailored to fight it effectively. The courts ruled that the forms of ID lawmakers chose as acceptable weren’t necessarily the most secure kinds, and noted that legislators opted not to include other forms of state-issued identification, such as student or public assistance IDs, that were just as secure. ...

For now, though, it appears that people who turn up to the polls in North Carolina, North Dakota, Texas and many other voter ID states won’t be turned away if they don’t have an ID on them. They will be able to cast a provisional ballot or sign an affidavit attesting to who they are. This situation does not satisfy either side in the larger dispute, but at the moment it appears to be the national norm. That is, of course, until and unless the Supreme Court steps in.

Judge orders Wisconsin DMV to investigate voter ID incident
09/30/16 |
Publication Date: 
Friday, September 30, 2016 - 14:30
Excerpt: 

A federal judge on Friday ordered the state to investigate an incident in which a voter received incorrect information on getting an ID from three Division of Motor Vehicle workers, saying the state may have violated an order he issued in July.

U.S. District Judge James Peterson issued Friday's ruling a day after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Nation published articles about what happened to Zack Moore, who was told he couldn't get an ID or temporary voting credentials because he did not have a birth certificate. ...

Moore tried to get an ID on Sept. 22, the same day Attorney General Brad Schimel filed court documents claiming DMV staff were trained to ensure people would get IDs or temporary voting credentials within six days, even if they didn't have a birth certificate. ...

The recording was made by Molly McGrath, the national campaign coordinator with VoteRiders, [a 501(c)(3) non-partisan nonprofit that informs and helps citizens with their voter ID].

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Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

More Info On Student Voting

New Jersey Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 General Election: November 8, 2016

Deadline to Apply for Mail-In Ballot for General Election: November 1, 2016

Voter Registration Deadline: October 18, 2016

http://www.njelections.org/

Election Day:

The polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Voters in line by 8 p.m. are entitled to vote.

Mail-in ballots must be received by the Board of Elections by 8:00p.m. on Election Day.

How to Find Your Polling Place:

A voter can determine his or her proper polling place by checking the New Jersey Division of Elections’ website and clicking on the “Where Do I Vote” application. (https://voter.njsvrs.com/elections/polling-lookup-orig.html).

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.


Registration Deadlines:

The registration deadline is 21 days before Election Day.  The last day to register is October 18, 2016.  New Jersey does NOT have same-day voter registration.

How to Check Your Registration:

A voter can determine whether he or she is registered to vote by checking the New Jersey Division of Elections’ website and clicking on the “Am I Registered” application:

(https://voter.njsvrs.com/PublicAccess/servlet/com.saber.publicaccess.control.PublicAccessNavigationServlet?USERPROCESS=PublicSearch)

or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Registration Eligibility:

In order to be eligible to register in New Jersey, a person must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Reside in New Jersey for at least 30 days before the election;
  • Be at least 17 years old (but a person who registers at 17 cannot vote until he or she turns 18);
  • NOT be currently incarcerated or on probation or parole for a felony conviction; and
  • NOT have been declared by a court mentally incompetent to understand the act of voting.

How to Register:

New Jersey residents may register in person or by mail.

By Mail

In order to register by mail, a voter may:

In Person

  • An individual may register to vote in person at any of the following places:
    • State Division of Elections (address is available at: http://www.njelections.org/)
    • County Commissioner of Registration or Superintendent of Elections for the voter’s county, or the voter’s Municipal Clerk’s Office (addresses are available at: http://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/voting-information-local-officials.html)
    • Motor Vehicles Commission Office
    • NJ Medical Assistance & Health Services Program
    • WIC (Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infant & Children)
    • Work First NJ Programs
    • Division of Developmental Disabilities
    • Office of Disability Services - Department of Human Services - Public Offices
    • Armed Forces of the United States Recruitment Offices
    • Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services - Department of Labor
    • Commission of the Blind & Visually Impaired
    • County Welfare Agency or County Board of Social Services
    • Through a voter registration drive

Identification Required for Registration:

The New Jersey voter registration form asks all registrants to provide a driver’s license number, non-driver ID number, or the last four digits of a Social Security number, or to swear or affirm that they do not have any such number.  Individuals who register by mail and who cannot provide one of the requested numbers must submit a copy of an acceptable form of identification at the time of registration or at any time before voting.  Acceptable identification includes either a current and valid photo ID (e.g., NJ driver's license, military or other government ID, student or job ID, store membership card, US Passport,), or any current document with the voter’s name and address such as a bank statement, pay check, rent receipt, sample ballot, utility bill, government check, car registration, non-photo driver’s license or any other official document. 

If You Want to Vote in Person before Election Day

Early in-person voting is not explicitly allowed in New Jersey, but the law permits a voter to apply for and pick up a mail-in ballot at the county clerk’s office and then hand-deliver the ballot to the board of elections.  In most counties, the clerk’s office is near the board, making this early voting option more feasible.

If You Want to Vote by Mail-in Ballot

Any voter in New Jersey may vote by mail-in ballot.  A voter may either request a mail-in ballot from the county clerk by mail at least 7 days before the election or apply for one in person at the county clerk’s office until 3:00 p.m. the day before the election.  To be counted, a mail-in ballot must be received by the board of elections by the close of polls on Election Day. 

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

New Jersey voters can vote without showing identification, with only one exception: a first-time voter who registered by mail and did not provide an accurate driver’s license number, non-driver ID number, the last four digits of a Social Security number, or acceptable identification at that time must present ID at the polling place on Election Day.  Acceptable identification includes either a current and valid photo ID (e.g., student ID card, military ID), or any current document with the voter’s name and address such as a bank statement, pay check, sample ballot, utility bill, government check, car registration, or non-photo driver’s license.

A voter who registered by mail without providing one of the requested numbers or acceptable ID, and who cannot produce such ID at the polling place on Election Day, will be asked to vote by provisional ballot instead of by machine.  After casting a provisional ballot, the first-time voter must provide proper ID to the county Superintendent of Elections or Commissioner of Registration by the close of business on the second day after the election.  A first-time voter should be encouraged to go and get acceptable identification if possible and NOT cast a provisional ballot.

Moving within the Same County

If a voter has moved within the same district, the voter may cast a regular ballot upon completing a written affirmation at the polling place.  If a voter has moved to a different district within the same county, the voter may vote by provisional ballot in district to which he or she has moved, upon completing a written affirmation at the polling place.

Moving Between Counties

If, on or before the 21st day before the election, a voter moved to a new county from another state or county and did not register to vote, he or she is ineligible to vote.  However, if the voter moved to a new county from another county in New Jersey within 20 days of the election, he or she may be eligible to vote in the election district where the voter resided before moving.

Military and other overseas citizens may use the standard procedure for voting by mail, but there are also special provisions for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and merchant marine, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with family members of all these groups, and other citizens who reside outside the United States (together these groups are called UOCAVA voters).

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot

UOCAVA voters can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register to vote and simultaneously request an absentee ballot.  If the voter requests to receive the ballot by air mail, the FPCA is due at least 30 days before the election (October 9, 2016).  If the voter requests to receive the ballot by fax or email, the FCPA is due at least 4 days before the election (November 4, 2016).  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) page: (https://www.fvap.gov/new-jersey).

UOCAVA voters may also register to vote and request an absentee ballot through (http://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/voting-information-military-overseas.html) or by calling 1-800-274-VOTE (8683).

Receiving an Absentee Ballot

UOCAVA voters may receive their blank absentee ballots by air mail or electronic transmission.  To request election transmission of the blank ballot, UOCAVA voters must mark the appropriate box and provide an email address on the FPCA (https://www.fvap.gov/new-jersey).  

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that UOCAVA voters may use.  UOCAVA voters may use this FWAB whether they are located inside or outside the United States (including APO and FPO addresses), provided that they are away from their voting residence for service-related activities.  If they do not receive their regular ballot in time, they may use the FWAB. 

Casting an Absentee Ballot

Ballots may be returned by air mail, commercial carrier, or hand delivery, or by fax or e-mail, so long as the voter also sends in the original ballot by air mail.  By whatever means ballots are sent, the relevant election officials must receive them by the close of polls (8 p.m.) on Election Day.  For specific instructions, visit the FVAP’s website: (https://www.fvap.gov/new-jersey).

New Jersey law permits persons with a felony conviction to vote so long as they are not currently incarcerated or serving a term of probation or parole.  Such voters must complete a new voter registration form once they become eligible and mail or hand deliver it 21 days before the election.   

FAQ

Top Issues to Field

For more information for voters with disabilities, find a National Disability Rights Network partner in your area.

For more information for student voters, visit the Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

2016 Election Information for your state