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Voting in New Jersey
|Election policy on Policypedia|
| State poll times (2015) |
| Voting in the 2015 primary elections |
| Voting in the 2015 general elections |
|Voter identification laws by state|
|Voting information by state|
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:
- 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.
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
As of March 2015, New Jersey is one of 30 states that have not implemented full 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.
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.
- See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times
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.
- See also: Absentee voting
All voters are eligible to vote absentee in New Jersey. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.
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 p.m. 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.
Military and overseas voting
For full details regarding military and overseas voting, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program.
- See also: Early voting
New Jersey allows voters to cast in-person absentee ballots. This allows a voter to fill out a ballot prior to the election and deliver it in person to an election official's office.
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."
|Bill||Introduced||Senate Vote||Assembly Vote||Gubernatorial Action|
|S2364||Nov. 29, 2012 in New Jersey Senate||on March 18, 2013, 24 to 16||on March 21, 2013, 46 to 31||on May 9, 2013|
- Voter registration info
- 2870/ Open States, A2870
- Open States, S 2168
- Voter ID laws
- New Jersey Department of State, "Voter Registration - Frequently Asked Questions," accessed January 3, 2014
- Ballot Access News, "Newark Star-Ledger Story About New Jersey Lawsuit to Let Independents Vote in Primaries Without Joining a Party," March 21, 2014
- New Jersey Department of State, "Vote by Mail Applications," accessed December 16, 2013
- New Jersey Department of State, "Voter Registration - Frequently Asked Questions," accessed December 16, 2013
- National Conference of State Legislatures "Absentee and Early Voting," accessed December 16, 2013
- New Jersey State Legislature, S2364 Veto statement
- NJ.com, Christie vetoes early voting bill, angering Democrats, May 9, 2013