New Jersey Elections

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Upcoming Elections

2016 Presidential Preference Primary: Tuesday, June 7

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

For more information, visit the New Jersey Department of State website.

Please note that the information in the sections below has not been updated, and refers to the 2015 general election.

Voting Rights

News

She’s 86. She can’t get a photo ID. Look at the voter fraud we’ve prevented
02/11/16 |
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 17:30
Excerpt: 

Reba Bowser is...86 years old. She’s a staunch Republican. She’s been a faithful voter since the Eisenhower administration, missing only the most recent election after moving from New Hampshire to western North Carolina to be close to her son’s family. ...

On Monday, [Reba and her son, Ed,] went to the Department of Motor Vehicles in [North Carolina]. There, they laid out all of Reba’s paperwork for a DMV official – her birth record from Pennsylvania, her Social Security card, the New Hampshire driver’s license she let expire because she no longer wanted to drive.

But there was a problem. When Reba got married in 1950, she had her name legally changed. Like millions upon millions of women, she swapped out her middle name for her maiden name.

That name – Reba Miller Bowser – didn’t match the name on her birth record. A DMV computer flagged the discrepancy. Her photo ID application was rejected. ...

There’s good reason for Reba’s confusion. Her name had never been an issue before this week. Not when she applied for driver’s licenses in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Not when she’s flown on airplanes and traveled to other countries. ...

But now, Ed says: “I’m thinking how this affected an 86-year-old woman with limited transportation and resources. You think about extending that to poor communities and minority communities.”

Republicans champion voter ID laws absent credible evidence of fraud
02/10/16 |
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 05:00
Excerpt: 

“When voter fraud occurs it should be taken very seriously … and we should have the mechanisms to make sure that it doesn’t happen,” said [Myrna Pérez, deputy director of the Voting Rights and Elections Project at the Brennan Center for Justice]. “But cases where people are in a position to exploit the system are much more common than some random person pretending to be someone else.” An analysis of election fraud by the journalism studies program News21 found that more than half of all fraud convictions between 2000 and 2012 involved either election officials, campaign workers or voting registration organizations. Just 1 in 207 fraud accusations involved voter impersonation, the only type of fraud that voter ID laws prevent. “If [voter ID advocates] were really concerned about fraud there’s a bunch of other things they could do,” Perez added “Our voting machines are vulnerable. We’re asking people to vote on machines that are the equivalent of old-school flip phones. Our registration rolls are a mess.” ...

For many of...eligible voters, getting a valid ID is not a simple process. “For one, those without a driver’s license don’t have a car,” said Kathleen Unger, president of VoteRiders, a non-profit group that helps voters obtain valid IDs. “So they’re not able to just drive down to the DMV to get a license.” And while states do offer the option of a free voter ID card Unger says, “In many cases there can be a cost associated with getting a ‘free ID’. Obtaining a copy of a birth certificate or a change of name document not only costs money but requires a trip to another agency. With these laws there are so many people who just won’t vote.”

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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 rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

Learn More

Helpful Election Information

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 Presidential Preference Primary: Tuesday, June 7

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

For more information, visit the New Jersey Department of State website.

Please note that the information in the sections below has not been updated, and refers to the 2015 general election.

Polling Place Hours

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

How to Find Your Polling Place

Visit the Polling Place Locator on the New Jersey Division of Elections website.

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683).

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Registration Deadlines

2015 Primary Election: May 12, 2015

2015 General Election: October 13, 2015

You must register 21 days before an election.

How to Check if You Are Registered

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Contact your County Elections Official or check the Division of Elections registration lookup page here.

How to Register

You can register to vote in New Jersey by completing a Voter Registration application, and then mailing or delivering the form to your local County Elections Official.

Additionally, you can register to vote at these governmental agencies in New Jersey.

Registration Eligibility

To register to vote in New Jersey you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen;
  • Be 18 years of age or older by the next election; and
  • Live in the state of New Jersey. 

Identification Required for Registration

An individual wishing to register to vote must provide their driver's license number, or the last four digits of their social security number.  If they do not have such numbers, they will need to provide a copy of an acceptable identifying document.

An acceptable identifying document includes:

  • A copy of a current and valid photo I.D. and
  • A copy of a bank statement, paycheck, utility bill, government check or other government document that shows the name and current address of the voter.

If You Want to Vote Early

New Jersey does not have early voting, but any voter may vote absentee by mail.

If You Want to Vote Absentee

In New Jersey, any voter can now vote by absentee ballot by mail for any election.  An absentee ballot application may be downloaded here.

Apply by Mail

To receive an absentee ballot by mail, the county clerk’s office must receive an absentee ballot application no later than 7 days before an election.  

Apply in Person

Alternatively, absentee ballots may also be requested in person at the county clerk’s office through 3:00 p.m. on the day before an election.  A voter who is sick or confined may apply for an absentee ballot by authorized messenger.

Returning Absentee Ballots

Absentee ballots may be returned to the county board of elections to which it is addressed or delivered personally by the voter or by authorized messenger up until 8:00 p.m. on the day of election.

An absentee ballot must be RECEIVED by the County Board of Elections no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day.

A voter who receives a mail-in ballot, should vote by mail-in ballot.  A voter who receives a mail-in ballot, but instead requests to vote in person on election day, will only be able to vote by provisional ballot.

Identification Requirements to Register to Vote

An individual wishing to register to vote must provide their driver's license number, or the last four digits of their social security number.  If they do not have such numbers, they will need to provide a copy of an acceptable identifying document.

An acceptable identifying document includes:

  • A copy of a current and valid photo I.D. and
  • A copy of a bank statement, paycheck, utility bill, government check or other government document that shows the name and current address of the voter.

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

New Jersey law requires certain registered voters to show identification in order to vote in person.  Pursuant to the federal "Help America Vote Act of 2002" (HAVA), if you registered to vote by mail in your county after January 1, 2003, and never voted in a federal election in the county, you were required to provide your county commissioner of registration with identification.

If a voter does not provide identification to the county commissioner of registration or if the identification information could not be verified (i.e., the voter's driver's license number or the last four digits of their social security number), THEY MUST SHOW IDENTIFICATION AT THE POLLING PLACE WHEN THEY GO TO VOTE.

Acceptable identification includes, but is not limited to:

  • Any current and valid photo ID;
  • NJ driver's license;
  • Military or other Government ID;
  • Student or Job ID;
  • Store Membership Card;
  • United States Passport;
  • Bank statement;
  • Car registration;
  • Government check or document;
  • Non-photo NJ driver's license;
  • Rent receipt;
  • Sample Ballot;
  • Utility bill; and
  • Any other official document.

If you do not have identification, you will be able to vote by provisional ballot and will have until close of business on the day after the election to provide identification to the county elections office.

If you’re registered to vote in New Jersey and have recently moved, you will need to notify the NJ Division of Elections of your new address.

Moving Within the Same County

If a voter has moved from a registered address to another address in the same county and did not submit a change of address form to the county commissioner of registration before election day, the voter can vote a provisional ballot at their new polling place.

Moving to a Different County

If a voter has moved to a different county on or before the 21st day before the election, the voter must re-register before the registration deadline ends in their new county of residence in order to vote.

If a voter has moved to a different county after the 21st day before the election and has not submitted a change of address form to the county commissioner of registration, that voter can vote at their old polling place in their former county after filling out an affidavit to vote.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) New Jersey-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can send and receive voting materials by mail, fax and email.  If you wish to use the fax or email options, you must indicate this on your FPCA.  Instructions for doing so are found on the FVAP's New Jersey-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if they are concerned with receiving their printed ballot and returning it by the 7:00 p.m., Election Day deadline.  The FWAB is a blank ballot on which voters write-in their choices.  The FWAB may also be used  to register to vote and to apply for the absentee ballot, all in one step.  If the FWAB is being used to register to vote, it must be received by the voter registration deadline.  You must return your voted ballot or FWAB by mail.  If you email or fax your ballot to the local election office, you must also submit the original ballot by email with certification.  For specific instructions, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's New Jersey-specific FWAB page.

In New Jersey, ex-felons can register to vote.  Any person who is no longer in prison, or has completed his or her term of probation or parole can re-register to vote.

For more information, visit the New Jersey Secretary of State website.

FAQ

Electionary

**Top Issues to Field** **Not updated since 2014.**

For more information for voters with disabilities, visit the National Disability Rights Network’s voting resource center.

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

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights