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Voting in New Jersey

 

How do I know if I can vote?

In order to vote, you must first register. You can register to vote in New Jersey if you are:

  • A U.S. citizen,
  • At least 18 years of age on or before the next election, and
  • A resident of New Jersey and your county for at least 30 days prior to the election.

You cannot register to vote if:

  • You are serving a prison sentence for committing a crime.
  • A judge has determined that you lack the mental capacity to vote.

How do I register to vote?

You must be registered in order to vote. See Voter Search (from the NJ Division of Elections) to check whether you are already registered to vote. It is wise to check registration status well before the election, as it is possible to become de-registered if your County Commission of Registration (CCR) sent a verification request and you did not respond. Voters must register at least 21 days before voting in an election.

If you are not already registered, you must file a registration application. You can get a voter registration application from:

  • Your County Commission of Registration,
  • Your County Board of Elections,
  • Local libraries,
  • NJ Motor Vehicle Commission offices,
  • County Boards of Social Services, and
  • Other public assistance agencies.

The registration form is also available with additional information online at Register to Vote! (from the NJ Department of State). You can also check that website to find out where to vote on Election Day.

You can register to vote with your County Commission of Registration (CCR) or Superintendent of Elections (SE) in person or by mail. You cannot register electronically or by fax, because an original signature is required. You can call 1-877- NJVOTER toll-free to find contact information for your CCR or SE, request that a voter registration form be mailed to you, and find out whether information is available in languages other than English. You can also call your CCR or SE if you are unsure whether you are registered. Once registered, you can vote in person at the polls on Election Day or by absentee ballot.

If you register by mail, the CCR or SE will send you a request for identification form asking for your driver’s license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you have neither, they will ask for other acceptable identifying documents. These include a photo ID, a bank statement, a utility bill, or an official document addressed to you. After your registration is approved you should receive information about where to vote.

How do I vote once I am registered?

  1. Vote by Mail

    Voters can apply to vote by mail by following instructions at vote.nj.gov. Once registered to vote by mail you will be delivered a vote by mail ballot with instructions. If you registered to vote by mail you will not be able to vote in person. You have three ways to deliver your completed vote by mail ballot.

    1. By mail. If delivered by mail, your vote-by-mail ballot MUST be postmarked on or before 8:00 p.m. on Election Day and be received by your county’s Board of Elections on or before the sixth day after the close of the polls.
    2. Place your vote-by-mail ballot in one of your county’s secure ballot drop boxes by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. Drop box locations can be found at VOTE.NJ.GOV.
    3. Deliver your vote-by-mail ballot in person to your county’s Board of Elections Office by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. County Election Officials’ contact information can be found at VOTE.NJ.GOV.

  2. In Person Early Voting

    This new option enables all registered voters to cast their ballot in person, using a voting machine, during the in-person early voting period prior to Election Day. You can now choose to vote in person when it’s most convenient for your schedule. The early voting period starts on May 31, 2024, and ends June 2, 2024. You can go to any polling place that is convenient for you, unlike on Election Day when you must go to your specific polling place. See In-Person Early Voting in New Jersey is here! (from the NJ Division of Elections) to learn more about early voting.

  3. At Your Polling Place on Election Day

    Vote in person at your polling place, from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. Find your polling place at Election Day Polling Place Locations (from from the NJ Division of Elections).

    It is a good idea to bring identification and proof of address with you when you go to vote, especially if you are voting for the first time or if it is your first time voting at that location. If you registered by mail, you may need to bring a photo ID, utility bill, paycheck, or other document showing your name and address. Call the CCR or SE if you have any questions about what ID is acceptable. Polls are open between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.

    If you go to the polling place and you are not permitted to vote, you can make an application to a Superior Court judge in the county where you live for an order permitting you to vote. No formal or written application is needed. You do not need to be represented by an attorney. You should go to the Superior Court in the county where you live. There will be a judge on duty to hear voters’ applications. If you are listed as a registered voter, you can ask to vote by provisional ballot. In some cases your provisional vote can be counted if you submit a copy of your ID to the CCR by close of business on the second day after the election.

    See How To Vote In New Jersey (from NJ.gov) for more information on how to vote.

Important Dates

May 14, 2024: Voter Registration Deadline for Primary Election

May 28, 2024: Deadline to apply for a Mail-in Ballot by Mail for Primary Election

May 31, 2024 – June 2, 2024: Early Voting Period

June 3, 2024, by 3:00 P.M.: Deadline for In-Person Mail-In Ballot Applications for Primary Election

June 4, 2024: Primary Election Day

June 4, 2024: Deadline for Post Office Receipt of Mail-In Ballots from the Primary Election

June 10, 2024: Deadline for Receipt of Timely Mailed Postmarked Mail-In Ballots to County Boards of Election

Voting for people with disabilities

State and federal laws require that polling places and voting machines be accessible to people with disabilities. In particular, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requires that the voting process “be accessible for individuals with disabilities, including nonvisual accessibility for the blind and visually impaired, in a manner that provides the same opportunity for access and participation (including privacy and independence) as other voters.”

People with mental illness are generally permitted to vote unless a judge determines that they lack the capacity to vote. People do not lose the right to vote if they have a guardian, unless the guardianship order declares that the person lacks the capacity to vote.

HAVA can be enforced through private litigation or through the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Department, Voting Division, at 1-800-253-3931. The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General has a voting accessibility concern and complaint process and can be contacted at (609) 292-3760. On Election Day, Disability Rights New Jersey has a toll-free Hotline for people with disabilities who have voting questions or issues, at (866) 493-0023 or you can contact DRNJ by email at [email protected].

If you believe that you were improperly denied the right to vote on Election Day, you can apply to the New Jersey Superior Court in your county for relief. Each court has an emergent duty judge available on Election Day with authority to hear your complaint and to issue an order permitting you to vote. To find your local New Jersey Superior Court, see Local Courthouse Addresses (from New Jersey Courts) or call 1-877-NJVOTER for further information.

If you are not a U.S. Citizen

You should not register to vote as doing so may jeopardize your immigration status or your ability to become a legal permanent resident in the future.

If you speak a language other than English

Voter registration applications are available in the following languages: English, Spanish, Korean, Gujarati, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese. You can find the applications at Registration Information (from the NJ Department of State).