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LEGAL TOPICS
How Can I Vote in the November 3, 2020 Election? If You Are Registered to Vote, Your Ballot Will Be Mailed to You

On August 14, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order that changed the way we will vote in the November 2020 election. Executive Order 177 says voting will happen “primarily by mail ballots.”

Ballots for the election will be mailed to all “active registered voters.” See Voter Search (from New Jersey Division of Elections) to find out if you are registered. If you are not registered, you must do so before October 13, 2020. You can now complete your voter registration online at Voter Registration Application (from New Jersey Division of Elections). You can also print a voter registration form from the New Jersey Board of Elections website or get one from your county board of elections. A more detailed discussion of the voter registration process can be found in the June 2020 edition of Looking Out. You can also call the New Jersey Division of Elections at 1-877-NJVoter, or your county board of elections.

Instead of a sample ballot, you will receive a notice in the mail with the following information:

  • Where your polling place will be located on November 3. (It may be at a different place than in prior years.)
  • The website address for the New Jersey Division of Elections, with polling place information.
  • Where secure ballot drop boxes will be located.
  • Availability of sample ballots—on county websites before Election Day, and at your polling place on November 3.

The 2020 general election ballots will be mailed 29 days before Election Day. When you get your ballot in the mail, you do not have to wait until Election Day to complete and submit it. There will be instructions explaining how to complete it. The ballot will be pre-printed with first class postage and can be submitted by mail. If you mail in your completed ballot, it must be postmarked no later than November 3 and received by the county board of elections by November 10.

As an alternative to mailing your ballot, each county will have at least 10 secure ballot boxes where you can drop off your completed ballot. Each town or city will have at least one polling place. (Center for Disease Control guidelines will be followed at all polling places.) You can take your vote-by-mail ballot to the polling place and submit it there. If you arrive at a polling place without a vote-by-mail ballot, you will be required to vote using a provisional ballot, which is a paper ballot that will be counted after your eligibility to vote is verified. Poll workers cannot tell you to leave without voting. Locations of drop boxes and polling places will be listed in the notice you will receive. Additional information will be available from your county board of elections and the New Jersey Division of Elections.

For updates and additional information before Election Day, check the New Jersey Division of Elections website. The Division of Elections also has a toll free telephone number, 1-877-NJVoter.

Don’t give up your right to vote!​​​​​​

9/22/2020
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