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Voting in New Jersey

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General Information
Election DatesPoll Opening and Closing Times
Voting in 2014 Primaries
Ballot access for major and minor party candidates

Absentee voting • Early voting 
Open Primary • Closed Primary • Blanket Primary
Online voter registration in the 50 states
This page has information relating to voting in New Jersey. For full information contact your state election agency.

Registration

New Jersey has a mixed primary system. Registered Democrats and Republicans can only vote for their own party in the primary. Any New Jersey voter who has never on a previous occasion voted in a New Jersey primary election may declare a party affiliation at the poll. Independents may also decide which party to vote for.

To vote in New Jersey, you must meet the following requirements:[1]

  • A United States citizen
  • At least 18 years old by the next election
  • A resident of the county for 30 days before the election

You are not eligible to register to vote if:

  • You are serving a sentence or on parole or probation, as a result of a conviction of an indictable offense under state or federal law.

When and where

The deadline for registration is 21 days prior to the election. An application must be downloaded from the state website and submitted by mail or in person to the County Commissioner of Registration or Superintendent of Elections for you county.[1]

Registration forms are also available from the Division of Elections, the Commissioners of Registration office in the County where you live or from your Municipal Clerk. You can also register to vote at the DMV or at the same time you are applying for service from any of the following agencies:

  • 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

Online registration

See also: Online voter registration in the 50 states

As of April 2014, New Jersey is one of the 35 states that have not implemented online voter registration. New Jersey has a bill pending in the 2012-2013 legislative session which would authorize online voter registration. On October 18, 2012, the New Jersey Assembly passed the bill. It then moved to the New Jersey Senate.[2][3]

Voting on election day

If identification was not provided at the time of registering to vote or if the identification information could not be verified, a voter must show identification at the polling place. Identification includes: any current and valid photo ID or bank statement, car registration, government check or document, etc.[4]

Poll times

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times

In New Jersey, all polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.[5]

Primary voting

New Jersey allows independent voters to vote in partisan primaries, but once they do, they will automatically become members of the party whose primary ballot they chose, which will appear on the state's voter registration records. As soon as they have voted in the primary, independent voters may fill out a new voter registration form to regain independent status.[6]

Absentee voting

See also: Absentee voting

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in New Jersey. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[7]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the county election office at least seven days prior to the election if returned by mail. It can also be submitted in person to the county election office until 3 PM on the day before the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office by the time the polls close on election day.[8]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

2012 updates

In light of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno allowed voters to cast their ballots by email and fax.[9]

Early voting

See also: Early voting

New Jersey does not have a state-wide early voting system in place.[10]

Proposed changes

2013

The 2012-2013 New Jersey State Legislature passed a bill that would have created an early voting period for people to cast their vote at a designated polling place during a 14 day period before a primary or general election. On May 9, Governor Chris Christie vetoed the bill. In his statement he cited the availability, reliability and effectiveness of the current mail-in absentee voting process and raised concerns about the cost and security of creating a "new voting method and process."[11][12]

Bill Introduced Senate Vote Assembly Vote Gubernatorial Action
S2364 Nov. 29, 2012 in New Jersey Senate Approveda
on March 18, 2013, 24 to 16
Approveda
on March 21, 2013, 46 to 31
Defeatedd
on May 9, 2013

See also

External links

References