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Election Administration in New Jersey

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Election Types and Dates

Election Dates

Upcoming Primary Elections

The primary election for President and other federal offices is June 7, 2016.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-28)

N.J. 2016 Primary Election Timeline [link]

Upcoming General Elections

The general election for President and other federal offices is November 8, 2016.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-28)

N.J. 2016 Primary Election Timeline [link]

How is a nominee determined?

How is a nominee determined (caucus, primary, convention)?

Primaries, mostly. Political parties that earn at least 10% of the votes cast in the next preceding general election must nominate candidates by primary election. (Essentially, this means that the Democratic Party and the Republican Party nominate their candidates using primary elections.) Others candidates must be nominated by a petition signed by a number of voters equal to at least 2% of votes cast in the last preceding general election for all members of the General Assembly voted on in the state, county, district, or other political division in which the candidate is seeking election. However, regardless of the 2% rule, a candidate running for a statewide office does not need to collect any more than 800 signatures, and all other candidates do not need to collect any more than 100 signatures.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-21)

N.J. Stat. § 19:1-1 (definition of "political party") (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:1-1 (definition of "political party") (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:5-1 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:5-1 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:13-1 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:13-1 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:13-4 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:13-4 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:13-5 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:13-5 (unofficial link) [link]

Political Party Affiliation

Can voters register by party in the state?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-21)

New Jersey Voter Registration Application [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6.4 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6.4 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:23-45 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:23-45 (unofficial link) [link]

Must voters be registered with a political party if they would like to vote on that party’s candidates in a partisan primary election (i.e., are primaries open or closed)?

Closed. However, voters who have previously voted in a primary may affiliate with the party of their choice at the polls.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-21)

N.J. Admin. Code § 15:10-2.7 [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:23-45 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:23-45 (unofficial link) [link]

When can a voter change or switch their party affiliation?

To be eligible to vote in a party's primary election, a registered voter currently affiliated with a political party who wishes to change their party affiliation must file a Political Party Affiliation Declaration Form at least 55 days before the primary election or a submit a voter registration form indicating their new party affiliation at least 50 days before the primary. A registered voter who has not voted in a primary before may declare their party affiliation up to and including the day of a primary election.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-21)

N.J. Admin. Code § 15:10-2.7 [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:23-45 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:23-45 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-13.2 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-13.2 (unofficial link) [link]

Voter Registration

Who Can Vote?

What are the state's residency requirements for voters?

To register to vote, a person must live in New Jersey and the county in which the person expects to vote for 30 days before the election.

Homeless applicants may complete the home address section of the voter registration application by providing a contact point or the location where they spend most of their time.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-28)

N.J. Const. art. II, § 1, ¶ 3 [link]

New Jersey Voter Registration Application [link]

Can someone pre-register to vote if they will not be 18 years old by the next election? If so, who?

Yes. A person who will be 18 years old by the next election may register to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-21)

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (unofficial link) [link]

http://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/voting-information.html#2 [link]

Can 17-year-olds who will be 18-year-olds by the general election vote in the primary?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-21)

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Const. art. 2, § 1, ¶ 3 [link]

Does the state take away the right to vote from persons convicted of certain crimes? If so, what crimes?

Yes. A person convicted of an "indictable offense" (which is a legal term used in New Jersey that means "felony") under New Jersey law, another state's law, or federal law cannot vote while in prison, on parole, or on probation. Additionally, a person who is criminally convicted of violating any part of New Jersey's election laws may be punished by losing the right to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-21)

N.J. Const. art. 2, § 1, ¶ 7 [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:4-1 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:4-1 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:34-4 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:34-4 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:34-4 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:34-4 (unofficial link) [link]

New Jersey Division of Elections Website [link]

If people lose the right to vote because of a criminal conviction, can they regain the right to vote? How?

After a person who was convicted of an "indictable offense" (felony) completes their prison sentence, probation, and parole, the person regains the right to vote and can vote after submitting a new voter registration form. A person who lost the right to vote as a criminal penalty for violating New Jersey's election laws may regain the right to vote by obtaining a pardon from the governor. A person who was registered before being convicted must re-register to vote after regaining the right to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-21)

N.J. Stat. § 19:4-1 (regaining right to vote) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:4-1 (regaining right to vote) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (re-registration required) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (re-registration required) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-17(c) (re-registration required) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-17(c) (re-registration required) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Division of Elections Website [link]

Voter Registration Options

Is fully online voter registration available? (i.e., can voters fill in and submit an online application without printing and signing it?)

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-22)

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6 (unofficial link) [link]

http://nj.gov/state/elections/voting-information-voter-registration-forms.html [link]

Does the state accept the National Mail Registration Form?

Yes. Click here to download the form.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-22)

http://www.eac.gov/voter_resources/register_to_vote.aspx [link]

Is the state required to register voters at public assistance agencies and driver's license agencies, per the National Voter Registration Act of 1993?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-06-02)

http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/nvra/activ_nvra.php [link]

Student-Specific Rules

Does the state have specific rules on students registering to vote or voting?

A college student has the option to register from their college address or their parent's address.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-22)

http://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/voting-information-college-students.html [link]

Voter Registration Deadlines

When is the voter registration deadline?

21 days prior to an election.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-22)

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6.1 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6.1 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6.3(b) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6.3(b) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Admin. Code § 15:10-1.7(d) [link]

How is the deadline enforced for mailed applications?

Postmark - an application should be postmarked by the deadline.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-22)

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6.3(b) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6.3(b) (unofficial link) [link]

When must a voter make changes to their registration for the changes to be in effect before the person seeks to vote?

Voters should update their voter registration record by the voter registration deadline, which is the 21st day before an election. But if a registered voter moves to a new address in the same county and does not update their address by this deadline, the voter may still vote by going to the polling place for their new address, voting a provisional ballot, and signing a written affirmation that they have moved.

Source (confirmed on: 2014-10-01)

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-11 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-11 (unofficial link) [link]

Voter Registration Drives

Does the state require organizations conducting voter registration drives to register?

No. However, the election official is required to retain a record of organizations requesting more than 100 forms (see question immediately below). In addition, the superintendent/commissioner of registration is authorized by the state regulations to adopt a method of identifying a supply of voter registration applications provided to any organization, candidate or individual for the sole purpose of reporting any deficiencies in returned registrations.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-28)

N.J. Admin. Code § 15:10-1.4 [link]

Are there restrictions on getting voter registration forms?

Voter registration applications may be photocopied or reproduced, except that the return address portion of the voter registration application shall not be photocopied or reproduced. Any completed voter registration application form which includes a reproduced return address portion shall be rejected. Any photocopies or reproductions to be utilized by individuals completing the form or soliciting other individuals to register to vote must be true facsimiles of the application.

State statute provides that the commissioner of registration must furnish such registration forms upon request in person to any person or organization in such reasonable quantities as such person or organization requests. The commissioner must furnish no fewer than two such forms to any person upon request by mail or by telephone.

Under state regulation, an organization may request a reasonable quantity of voter registration applications from the superintendents/county commissioners of registration or the Secretary of State. The number of applications requested may be limited to two percent of the total number of voter registration applications which the superintendent/commissioner of registration has available at the time of the request, or 2,500 forms if request is made to the Secretary of State. There is no limit to the number of requests an organization may make. The commissioner of registration is required to retain a record of all organizations requesting more than 100 applications. Requests will be met at an agreed upon time at the office of the commissioner of registration or the Secretary of State.

An individual may request in person up to 25 voter registration applications from the superintendent/commissioner of registration or the Secretary of State. There shall be no limit to the number of requests an individual may make. An individual making a telephone request shall be entitled to at least two application forms.

The superintendent/commissioner of registration may adopt a method of identifying a supply of voter registration applications provided to any organization, candidate or individual for the sole purpose of reporting any deficiencies in returned registrations.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-28)

N.J. Admin. Code § 15:10-1.5(a) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6.4 [link]

N.J. Admin. Code § 15:10-1.4 [link]

Does the state require any training in order to conduct voter registration drives?

No.

Does the state have restrictions on who may help others register to vote?

No.

Does the state have restrictions on paying drive workers, or additional rules related to payment?

No.

Are there restrictions on the voter registration drive offering something of value to a person in exchange for completing a voter registration application?

Federal law states that whoever "pays or offers to pay or accepts payment either for registration to vote or for voting shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years." At least one federal appellate court has interpreted "payment" as "intended to include forms of pecuniary value offered or given directly to an individual voter, and indicated the value should be based on "an assessment of the monetary worth of an item from the perspective of the voter receiving the item." That case held that food vouchers could be "payment."

Another example is California's Secretary of State's interpretation of the federal law to mean that "Any type of incentive is considered 'payment,' even things as seemingly innocent as cookies or admission to an entertainment event.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-28)

52 U.S.C. § 10307(c) [link]

United States v. Garcia, 719 F.2d 99, 102-103 (5th Cir. 1983) [link]

California Secretary of State's Guide to Voter Registration Drives, p. 11 [link]

Must the registration drive worker sign the completed voter registration application, and must the drive or canvasser place other information on applications?

New Jersey election law does not address this issue, except if an applicant is unable to personally complete the form, another individual may complete the form for the applicant. The individual who completed the form for the applicant must enter his or her name in the appropriate section of the voter registration application. If the applicant cannot sign or make his mark, the individual assisting must write “unable to mark” on the signature line.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-28)

N.J. Admin. Code § 15:10-1.6(a) [link]

Does the state have a rule requiring a receipt or other tracking information to be provided to the applicant?

No.

Are there restrictions on copying completed voter registration applications prior to submitting them to the election official, or other restrictions on data entry or disclosure?

New Jersey election law does not address this issue.

Is there a time limit for voter registration groups to submit the voter registration applications they collect?

No, except that applications must be postmarked or delivered no later than the 21st day before Election Day in order for the applicant to vote in that election.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-28)

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6 [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6.3(b) [link]

What are the consequences for failing to submit applications on time?

New Jersey election law does not address this issue.

Same-Day Registration

Can voters register and vote on the same day (i.e., does the state offer same-day registration)?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-27)

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6.1 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6.1 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6.3(b) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6.3(b) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Admin. Code § 15:10-1.7(d) [link]

Voters Who Have Moved or Changed Their Name

Can people vote if they moved, but did not update their voter registration with their new address?

If a registered voter moves to a new address in the same county and does not update their address by the voter registration deadline, the voter may still vote by going to the polling place for their new address, voting a provisional ballot, and signing a written affirmation that they have moved. Voters who moved to another county without updating their address by the voter registration deadline may not vote, except for President and Vice President using a Presidential Ballot (see Presidential Ballots question below). Also note that in order to register to vote, a voter must live in the state and county for at least 30 days before the election.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-27)

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-11 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-11 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (unofficial link) [link]

Can people vote if they have changed their name, but did not update their voter registration with their new name?

If a registered voter changes their name but does not update their voter registration record with their new name by the voter registration deadline, the voter may still vote by going to the polls and voting under their old name. While at the polls, the voter must also sign the signature copy register with both their old name and their new name.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-27)

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-13 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-13 (unofficial link) [link]

Language, Literacy, and Disability Access

Language and Literacy Access

Does the state have any places that must provide election materials in languages other than English, per Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965?

Yes; Bergen County must provide voting materials in Korean, and the following counties must provide materials in Spanish:

  • Bergen County
  • Camden County
  • Cumberland County
  • Essex County
  • Hudson County
  • Middlesex County
  • Passaic County
  • Union County
Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-27)

76 Fed. Reg. 63602 (Oct. 13, 2011) [link]

Does the state have any other rules about providing election materials in languages other than English?

Yes. Voter registration forms are available on the New Jersey Division of Elections website in the following languages: English, Spanish, Korean, Gujarati, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese.

Additionally, if the primary language of at least 10% of an election district's population is Spanish, that district must have available Spanish-language voter registration forms. These districts must also provide Spanish-language primary ballots for voters who need them. Additionally, voters in these districts must be mailed English-Spanish bilingual sample ballots, and at least 2 bilingual sample or instruction ballots must be available at the polls for voters to consult on Election Day. Voters in these districts whose right to vote is challenged at the polls in a general election must also be given a Spanish-language affidavit they can sign and instructions (see section below on Voter Challenges for more information). Finally, complaint forms in these election districts, on which voters can make complaints about the conduct of the election on Election Day, must be printed in both English and Spanish.

Additionally, if the primary language of at least 10% of an election district's population is any language other than English, then the "Voter's Bill of Rights" notice that is displayed at the polling place on Election Day must be displayed in those languages in addition to English.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-27)

N.J. Division of Elections Website (Voter Registration Forms) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6.4(c) (Spanish registration forms) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6.4(c) (Spanish registration forms) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:23-22.4 (primary ballots) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:23-22.4 (primary ballots) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:14-25 (sample ballots) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:14-25 (sample ballots) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:49-4 (sample ballots) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:49-4 (sample ballots) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18.1(d) (challenges) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18.1(d) (challenges) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:32-4.1 (complaint forms) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:32-4.1 (complaint forms) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:12-7.1(b) (bill of rights) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:12-7.1(b) (bill of rights) (unofficial link) [link]

Who can help a voter with reading assistance or translation if they can't vote on their own?

Under Section 208 of the federal Voting Rights Act, any voter who requires assistance voting because of blindness or disability may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union.

Under state law, if a voter has a physical disability that prevents the voter from completing the ballot, the voter can receive the assistance of either two district board members who are members of different political parties, or another person of the voter's choice. However, before receiving assistance, the voter must declare under oath that a disability exists, and convince a majority of district board members that the disability exists. The name and address of any assistant must be recorded on this oath.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-27)

52 U.S.C. § 10508 (federal law) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:50-3 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:50-3 (unofficial link) [link]

Disability Access

Who can help a voter with a disability if they can't vote on their own?

Under Section 208 of the federal Voting Rights Act, any voter who requires assistance voting because an inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union.

Under state law, if a voter cannot read, the voter can receive the assistance of either two district board members who are members of different political parties, or another person of the voter's choice. However, before receiving assistance, the voter must declare under oath that the voter cannot read, and convince a majority of district board members that voter cannot read. The name and address of any assistant must be recorded on this oath.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-27)

52 U.S.C. § 10508 (federal law) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:50-3 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:50-3 (unofficial link) [link]

Does the state have other rules related to access for persons with disabilities?

Yes. Each polling place on Election Day must be accessible to people with disabilities and the elderly; if a voter's assigned polling place is not accessible (as indicated on sample ballots), then the voter may request to vote at the nearest accessible polling place or apply to vote using an absentee mail-in ballot. Each election district must have at least one voting machine that is accessible for people with disability to vote on, and even if an election is conducted by mail, a voting machine that is accessible to people with disabilities must still be available to such voters in the municipal clerk's office. Additionally, voters with disabilities and the elderly may apply to vote using an absentee ballot, and if the disability is permanent, the voter may apply to regularly receive absentee ballots for all future elections. Such voters do not need to medically document their disability. If a confined or sick voter does not apply for an absentee ballot before the application deadline, the voter may request in writing that an absentee ballot someone else can pick up and an absentee ballot from the county clerk and deliver it to them.

Additionally, persons cannot vote if they been declared by a court to lack the capacity to understand the act of voting.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-27)

N.J. Stat. § 19:8-3.1 (polling place accessibility) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:8-3.1 (polling place accessibility) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:8-3.2 (inaccesible polling place alternatives) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:8-3.2 (inaccesible polling place alternatives) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Admin. Code § 15:10-6.8 (polling place accessibility standards) [link]

N.J. Admin. Code § 15:10-6.9 (polling place accessibility standards) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:4-11 (machines at polls) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:4-11 (machines at polls) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:62-4 (machines in mail elections) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:62-4 (machines in mail elections) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Const. art. 2, § 1, ¶ 6 (incapacity to vote) [link]

Early Voting, Absentee Voting, and Other Ways to Vote

Vote-by-Mail

Does the state provide mail ballots to all voters without a request?

No. However, municipalities where less than 500 people live (per the previous census) can choose to conduct elections entirely by mail ballot. In these elections, all registered voters are mailed a ballot 14-20 days before Election Day, and voters must fill out the ballot and return it by mail or by deliver it to the county board of elections' office or other designated location. The ballot must be received on Election Day to count (voters should call their county clerk to learn what specific time of the day the ballot must be received by). Voters who moved into the municipality after the voter registration deadline (that is, after 21 days before the election) won't receive a mail ballot, but they may vote a provisional ballot in person at the county clerk's office or the municipal clerk's office. Voters with disabilities may vote in person on an accessible voting machine in the municipal clerk's office. If a voter does not receives, loses, or spoils a mail ballot, they may go to the county clerk's office or the municipal clerk's office to obtain a replacement ballot.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-28)

N.J. Stat. § 19:62-1 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:62-1 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:62-2 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:62-2 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:62-3 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:62-3 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:62-4 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:62-4 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:62-5 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:62-5 (unofficial link) [link]

Early Voting/Absentee In-Person Voting

Does the state have early voting/absentee in-person voting?

Yes; any voter may apply for an absentee ballot in person at the county clerk's office, immediately receive and complete the ballot, and return the ballot all in one trip to the county clerk's office. (Note that absentee ballots voted in person are the same as absentee ballots voted by mail.)

A voter who submits an absentee ballot in person at the county clerk's office must prove their identity by showing either (1) a New Jersey's driver's license, or (2) another form of ID recognized as official by the federal government, New Jersey government, or a political subdivision of New Jersey, so long as the ID shows the voter's full address and signature. The voter must also sign a county record of all voters who submit absentee ballots in person.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-28)

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-9 (delivery to voter) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-9 (delivery to voter) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16(d) (returning) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16(d) (returning) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-11(c) (primary ballots) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-11(c) (primary ballots) (unofficial link) [link]

Where does early voting/absentee in-person voting take place?

The county clerk's office.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-28)

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-5 (application) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-5 (application) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-9 (delivery to voter) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-9 (delivery to voter) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16(d) (returning) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16(d) (returning) (unofficial link) [link]

When does early voting/absentee in-person voting take place?

Voters may apply for an absentee ballot in person at the county clerk's office during normal business hours from the 45th day before Election Day to 3:00pm on the day before Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-28)

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-3 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-3 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-9 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-9 (unofficial link) [link]

Are lists of early voters/absentee in-person voters published? How?

Yes. County clerks must keep three lists, which include the voters' names and addresses: (1) all absentee ballot applications received; (2) all voters that were sent absentee ballots; and (3) all voters whose voted absentee ballots were received by the county clerk, including those that were delivered to the county clerk in person. These lists must be updated daily and made accessible to the public. The lists must kept starting no later than 14 days before the Election Day and kept through at least Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-28)

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-10 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-10 (unofficial link) [link]

Absentee Voting by Mail

Can anyone vote absentee by mail without an excuse? If not, what excuses allow a voter to vote absentee by mail?

Yes, anyone can vote absentee without an excuse.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-28)

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-3 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-3 (unofficial link) [link]

Deadline to apply for absentee ballot by mail

Voters may apply for an absentee ballot by mail or in person at the county clerk's office during normal business hours from the 45th day before Election Day to the 8th day before Election Day. Voters may apply for an absentee ballot in person only starting on the 7th day before Election Day and ending at 3:00pm on the day before Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-28)

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-3 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-3 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-9 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-9 (unofficial link) [link]

How does a voter apply for an absentee mail ballot?

A voter may apply to vote by mail by completing the application for vote by mail ballot, which can be obtained online at [http://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/voting-information.html#vbm] or from the county clerk's office. The voter may return the application to their county clerk by mail up to the 8th day before Election Day or in person up to 3:00pm on the day before Election Day.

Voters also have the option to indicate on their application that they wish to receive absentee ballots for all elections later in the year, or that they wish to wish receive absentee ballots for all future general elections. If a voter chooses one of these options, the voter will not need to separately apply for absentee ballots for those elections. (However, if a voter who requests to receive an absentee ballot for all future general elections does not return their ballot on the fourth general election after the general election in which the voter last voted, the County Clerk will send a notice to the voter asking to confirm their address information, and if the voter does not complete and return the notice by the 40th day before the next general election, that voter will no longer receive absentee ballots unless they reapply.)

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-28)

Absentee Ballot Application [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-3 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-3 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-5 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-5 (unofficial link) [link]

Can a voter make an online request for an absentee mail ballot?

No, unless they are a Military or Overseas Voter (see subsection below on Military and Overseas Voting for more information).

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-28)

N.J. Division of Elections Website [link]

Does a voter need to submit any supporting documentation or verification with an absentee mail ballot or absentee mail ballot application? If so, what is required?

Voters must fill out and sign the form of certificate attached to the inner envelope of the mail-in ballot's return envelope. Overseas ballots that are received by the absentee voter by e-mail (or other electronic means) must be placed in a secure envelope with a signed certificate that should be included with the overseas ballot instructions.

Other than these signature and certification requirements, no additional verification is required unless the all of the following is true: (1) the voter is voting for the first time in the county, and (2) the voter registered to vote by mail after January 1, 2003, and (3) the voter did not provide a valid ID at the time of registration. If this is the case, the voter must include a copy of this ID with their absentee ballot. Valid ID includes either:

  • A New Jersey driver's license number; or
  • Last four digits of the voter's Social Security Number; or
  • A current and valid photo identification card; or
  • A current utility bill, bank statement, government check or pay check; or
  • Any other government document that shows the individual's name and current address; or
  • Any other identifying document that the Attorney General has determined to be acceptable for this purpose.

This ID requirement does not apply to people who registered to vote in person or to people who have a right under federal law to vote an absentee ballot by mail (including military/overseas voters and voters with disabilities).

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-28)

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16(d) (domestic) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16(d) (domestic) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:59-10 (overseas) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:59-10 (overseas) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (first-time voters who registered by mail (official link)) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (first-time voters who registered by mail (unofficial link)) [link]

Are there restrictions on who may request or turn in an absentee mail ballot application for a voter?

Yes. A voter may designate an "authorized messenger" to apply in person at the county clerk's office for an absentee ballot on the voter's behalf. The authorized messenger must be a family member of the voter (including an adult who is the voter's spouse, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling, or a non-related roommate) of a voter or a registered voter in the voter's county. The authorized messenger cannot be a candidate, and the same person cannot be an authorized messenger or bearer for more than three voters. An authorized messenger sign the absentee ballot application in the appropriate place, must show a photo ID to the county clerk, and if the authorized messenger is not a family member, the authorized messenger must show to the county clerk a New Jersey driver's license or other ID recognized as official by the federal government, New Jersey government, or political subdivision of New Jersey that contains the messenger's signature and full address. The authorized messenger's signature must match the signature on the ID. After meeting these requirements, the county clerk will give the authorized messenger an absentee ballot to deliver to the voter.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-28)

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-2 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-2 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. 19:63-4 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. 19:63-4 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-9 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-9 (unofficial link) [link]

Deadline to return absentee ballots

Receipt - The ballot must be received by the county clerk's office by the time the polls close on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-28)

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16(d) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16(d) (unofficial link) [link]

Are there restrictions on who may return a voter's absentee mail ballot for them?

Yes. The voter may designate a family member or other "bearer" to put the voter's absentee ballot into the mail or deliver it to the county clerk's office on the voter's behalf. The bearer cannot be a candidate, and no person can be a bearer or authorized messenger for more than 3 voters. The bearer must sign the certificate accompanying the absentee ballot and both sign and print their name on the outside envelope.

If the bearer delivers the absentee ballot in person to the county clerk's office, the bearer must prove their identity by showing a New Jersey driver's license other form of ID recognized as official by the federal government, the New Jersey government, or political subdivision of New Jersey, and the ID must show the bearer's full address and signature. The bearer must also sign a record maintained by the county of all mail-in ballots personally delivered to it.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-28)

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-27 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-27 (unofficial link) [link]

What are absentee ballots sent by mail usually called?

"Absentee ballot," "mail-in ballot," or "vote by mail ballot", all of which refer to the same thing.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-28)

N.J. Division of Elections website (Vote by Mail Ballot) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-3 (mail-in ballot) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-3 (mail-in ballot) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Admin. Code § 15:10-4.2 (absentee ballot) [link]

First-time voters

A voter must provide ID with their absentee ballot if (1) the voter is voting for the first time in the county, and (2) the voter registered to vote by mail after January 1, 2003, and (3) the voter did not provide a valid ID at the time of registration. If this is the case, the voter must include a copy of this ID with their absentee ballot. Valid ID includes either:

  • A New Jersey driver's license number; or
  • Last four digits of the voter's Social Security Number; or
  • A current and valid photo identification card; or
  • A current utility bill, bank statement, government check or pay check; or
  • Any other government document that shows the individual's name and current address; or
  • Any other identifying document that the Attorney General has determined to be acceptable for this purpose.

This ID requirement does not apply to first-time voters who registered to vote in person or to people who have a right under federal law to vote an absentee ballot by mail (including military/overseas voters and voters with disabilities).

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-28)

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (first-time voters who registered by mail (official link)) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (first-time voters who registered by mail (unofficial link)) [link]

Are there any special emergency rules that allow a voter to vote absentee by mail if they are unable to make it to the polls at the last minute?

Any voter who does not apply for an absentee ballot by mail by the 8th day before the election may apply for one in person, either personally or through an authorized messenger, at the county clerk's office before 3 p.m. on the day before the election. However, the ballot must be received by the county clerk's office by the time the polls close on Election Day, and the voter or a designated bearer may need to return the absentee ballot to the county clerk's office n person to meet this deadline.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-28)

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-3 (mail-in ballot) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-3 (mail-in ballot) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16(d) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16(d) (unofficial link) [link]

Are lists of people who vote absentee by mail published? How?

Yes. County clerks must keep three lists, which include the voters' names and addresses: (1) all absentee ballot applications received; (2) all voters that were sent absentee ballots; and (3) all voters whose voted absentee ballots were received by the county clerk. These lists must be updated daily and made accessible to the public. The lists must kept starting no later than 14 days before the Election Day and kept through at least Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-28)

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-10 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-10 (unofficial link) [link]

Presidential-only ballots

Under federal law, any registered voter who moves out of the state after the 30th day before a Presidential election may vote for President and Vice President either in person at the voter's previous state of residence or using an absentee ballot from the state where the voter used to live.

Under New Jersey law, such voters may obtain an application for a Presidential-only ballot from the county clerk or municipal clerk in the county or city in which voter was last registered to vote in New Jersey. The application must be returned by mail or in person no later than 8 days before the election. If the voter lives in another state, the application must be accompanied by a certificate from the voter registrar in the election district where the voter moved to, which certifies that the voter is ineligible to vote in that new election district because the voter has not lived in that state long enough yet to qualify to vote. The voter will then be sent a Presidential-only ballot, and the voter must return the ballot to the county board of elections by mail or in person. The ballot will count only if it is received by the time the polls close on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-28)

52 U.S.C. § 10502(e) (federal law) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:58-5 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:58-5 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:58-9 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:58-9 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:58-15 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:58-15 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:58-22 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:58-22 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:58-25 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:58-25 (unofficial link) [link]

Absentee Voting for Military and Overseas Voters

Who is eligible for military/overseas absentee voting?

The following voters may vote a military/overseas absentee ballot:

  • Any person in military service who, because of active duty or service, is not at their home in New Jersey on the on Election Day
  • Any person living abroad whose last home was in New Jersey, does not have a home elsewhere in the country, holds a valid U.S. passport or U.S. card of registration, and the person either (1) was registered or eligible to register to vote in New Jersey before they moved, or (2) would have been eligible except they were younger than 18, or (3) would have been eligible except for residence.
Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

N.J. Stat. § 19:59-2(d) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:59-2(d) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:59-3 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:59-3 (unofficial link) [link]

How do voters apply for a military/overseas ballot?

Military/overseas voters may request an absentee ballot application from the county clerk of the county where the voter used to live or the Secretary of State if the voter does not know the county in which they used to live. The voter can request the application be sent by mail or electronically. Alternatively, the voter may obtain an absentee ballot application from the Division of Election's website.

The application must be completed and returned to the county clerk or the Secretary of State by mail, fax, e-mail, or in person. The application must be received by the 30th day before Election Day to receive an absentee ballot by mail, or by the 4th day before Election Day to receive a absentee ballot electronically.

Alternatively, a military/overseas voter may apply for an absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), which can also be used to register to vote. The voter can submit the FPCA to the county clerk or Secretary of State by mail or electronically, but if submitted electronically, it must also be submitted by mail. The voter can specify on the FPCA whether they wish to receive their absentee ballot by mail or electronically.

Additionally, the voter can specify on either type of application whether the voter wishes to receive absentee ballots for all future elections held in that year, and if the voter indicates this, the voter will not need to apply for absentee ballots again for elections later in the year.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

N.J. Absentee Ballot Application [link]

Federal Post Card Application [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:59-4 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:59-4 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:59-12 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:59-12 (unofficial link) [link]

Deadline to apply for a military/overseas ballot

The application must be received by the 30th day before Election Day to receive an absentee ballot by mail, or by the 4th day before Election Day to receive a absentee ballot electronically.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

N.J. Stat. § 19:59-4 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:59-4 (unofficial link) [link]

Deadline to return the military/overseas ballot

The ballot must be received by the time the polls close on Election Day.

If a voter casts their ballot electronically, the voter must also send the original voted ballot in a secure envelope with the absentee ballot certificate and mail it to the county board of elections, but this physical mailing does not need to be received by the time the polls close on Election Day so long as the ballot is electronically received by that time.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

N.J. Stat. § 19:59-11 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:59-11 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:59-15 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:59-15 (unofficial link) [link]

Who is eligible to use a write-in absentee ballot? How does it work?

Any military or overseas voter may vote using a federal write-in absentee ballot.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

N.J. Stat. § 19:59-14 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:59-14 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:59-15 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:59-15 (unofficial link) [link]

On Election Day

Where do you vote in person?

Where do you vote in person?

At the polling place in the election district where the voter lives.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

N.J. Stat. § 19:8-2 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:8-2 (unofficial link) [link]

What hours are the polls open on Election Day?

What hours are the polls open on Election Day?

6:00am - 8:00pm, except for a school election held at a different time than regular general elections, in which case the polls must be open between 5:00pm and 9:00pm and, at the school board's discretion, at any time between 8:00am and 5:00pm. Once in the voting booth, voters have two minutes to complete their ballot.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

N.J. Stat. § 19:23-40 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:23-40 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-2 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-2 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:2-1 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:2-1 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:52-3 (two minutes) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:52-3 (two minutes) (unofficial link) [link]

In the Voting Booth

Are there rules about what materials a voter can and cannot bring into the voting booth?

A voter cannot display any political insignia or printed campaign materials, including materials that support a candidate, political party, or public question on the ballot, within 100 feet of a polling place.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

N.J. Stat. § 19:34-19 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:34-19 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:34-15 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:34-15 (unofficial link) [link]

Can a voter bring children into the voting booth with them?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

N.J. Stat. § 19:52-3 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:52-3 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-8(a) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-8(a) (unofficial link) [link]

Are employers required to give employees time off to vote?

Are employers required to give employees time off to vote?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/your-right-time-off-work-new-jersey.html [link]

Campaigning, Electioneering, and Recording Devices

Are there restrictions on campaigning/electioneering during early voting/absentee in-person voting?

Yes. Campaigning/electioneering within 100 feet of the outside entrance of the polling place is illegal. There can be no campaign signs or material in this area and no one can campaign on behalf of any candidate or public question.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

N.J. Stat. § 19:34-15 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:34-15 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:34-6 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:34-6 (unofficial link) [link]

Can a voter wear a button or t-shirt with a candidate's name or logo on it into the polling place when they vote?

No. A voter cannot display any political insignia or printed campaign materials, including materials that support a candidate, political party, or public question on the ballot, within 100 feet of a polling place.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

N.J. Stat. § 19:52-3 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:52-3 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-8(a) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-8(a) (unofficial link) [link]

*NEW 1** Can a voter use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) inside the polling place or voting booth?

Cell phones are not permitted in the polling room. The use of cameras is not specifically addressed in state law, so local practices may vary. However, a voter "in the polling room" is prohibited from showing her ballot, such as by sharing a picture of it.

Source (confirmed on: 10/17/2016)

N.J. Stat. § 19:34-7 [link]

NJ District Board Worker Training Manual [link]

*NEW 2** Can a voter use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) outside the polling place but within the zone around the polling place where campaigning/electioneering is banned?

State law does not separately address this issue (see previous question).

Who's at the Polls?

Can persons other than election workers observe inside the polls?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

N.J. Stat. § 19:7-1 (chairmen) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:7-1 (chairmen) (unofficial link) [link]

What are observers inside the polls called in the state?

Challengers.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

N.J. Stat. § 19:7-1 (chairmen) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:7-1 (chairmen) (unofficial link) [link]

Does the state establish requirements to observe inside the polls?

In a general election, the chairman of each county political party with candidates on the ballot may appoint two challengers for each election district, except that for election districts wholly within a municipality, the chairman of the municipal political party may appoint the two challengers. In a primary election, the chairman of each county political party may appoint two challengers for each election district. In any election, the chairman of each county political party may also appoint as many challengers as there are municipalities in the county, and those challengers may serve in any election district in the county.

Additionally, a candidate may serve as a challenger, and a candidate may appoint 2 challengers for each election district in which the candidate will be on the ballot. However, for each election district, only 2 challengers are allowed to represent all the candidates nominated in and by the same original petition. Candidates must make the appointments in writing and include the challengers' names and addresses.

Proponents and opponents of a ballot question may also apply to the county board of elections to appoint challengers, and at the board's discretion, the board may appoint 2 challengers each to represent such proponents or opponents in an election district.

Challenger appointments (or applications, in the case of ballot questions) must be filed with the county board of election's office no later than the second Tuesday before Election Day. Challengers must be registered voters in the county.

Only one challenger appointed for a party, candidate, or on a public question may be present at any one time in any polling place while the polls are open, unless expressly allowed by the district board. A district board of elections can offer permission for more additional challengers to be present, but they must allow an equal number of challengers for each opposing candidate or side on a ballot question. Challengers appointed by the chairman of a county political party are exempt from this limitation, except that no more than one such challenger can be present at any time in a polling place while the polls are open.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

N.J. Stat. § 19:7-1 (chairmen) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:7-1 (chairmen) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:7-2 (candidates and questions) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:7-2 (candidates and questions) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:7-3 (process) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:7-3 (process) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:7-6.1 (number) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:7-6.1 (number) (unofficial link) [link]

*NEW 3* Can a poll observer use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) in the polling place?

The use of photography, cell phones and recording devices in the polling place is prohibited, without prior permission.

Source (confirmed on: 10/13/2016)

N.J. Stat. § 19 [link]

NJ District Board Worker Training Manual [link]

Are there other rules on what poll observers can or cannot do?

Challengers can be present during the election in the polling place of the district they are appointed to, and they have the power to challenge the right to vote of any voter in the election district and can ask all necessary questions to determine this right. They may be present while the votes cast at any election are being counted and to hear and see the ballots counted. They can challenge the counting or rejecting of any ballot or any part of a ballot.

Challengers may not challenge, delay, or prevent the right to vote of any person because of that person's race, color, national origin, expected manner of casting a vote or residence in a particular ward, housing complex or section of a municipality or county

Any challenger who succeeds in denying a voter the right to vote must sign an affidavit stating the reason why the voter is not entitled to vote and must furnish a copy of the affidavit to the challenged voter.

Police officers who serve as challengers cannot wear their police uniform or carrying an exposed weapon while serving as a challengers. Police officers who are assigned to perform police functions at a polling place cannot serve as challengers.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

N.J. Stat. § 19:7-5 (powers) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:7-5 (powers) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-8 (presence in polling place) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-8 (presence in polling place) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18 (discrimination) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18 (discrimination) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18.2 (affidavit) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18.2 (affidavit) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:6-15.1 (police) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:6-15.1 (police) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:6-16 (police) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:6-16 (police) (unofficial link) [link]

Provisional Voting and Voters at the Wrong Polling Place

When should a voter be offered a provisional ballot?

Under Section 203 of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002, if a person claims to be a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which the person desires to vote and the person claims to be eligible to vote in a federal election, but the person’s name does not appear on the official list of eligible voters for the polling place or an election official asserts that the person is not eligible to vote, then that person must be allowed to cast a provisional ballot at that polling place. The person may cast the provisional ballot after completing, in front of an election official at the polling place, a written affirmation stating that the person is (1) a registered voter in the jurisdiction, and (2) eligible to vote in that election.

Additionally, any person who votes in a federal election as a result of a federal or state court order, or any other order extending the time established for closing the polls by a state law in effect 10 days before the date of that election, may only vote in that election by casting a provisional ballot. Any such ballot cast must be separated and held apart from other provisional ballots cast for different reasons.

Under New Jersey law, a voter should be offered a provisional ballot if:

  • The voter has moved to a different election district within the same municipality or county without updating their voter registration information (the voter must go to the polling place of their new election district and vote the provisional ballot there), except that voters who move within the same election district without updating their address can vote a regular ballot after signing an affirmation of their new address;
  • The voter's name is missing from the list of registered voters;
  • the voter applied for an absentee ballot but did not receive it or did not return it;
  • the voter is a first-time voter in the county, registered to vote by mail, and did not provide proper ID either when they registered or when trying to vote at the polls;
  • the voter is voting as a result of a court order extending the time that can people can vote.
Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

52 U.S.C. § 21082 (federal law) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:53C-3(b), (c), (g-j) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:53C-3(b), (c), (g-j) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:53C-1 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:53C-1 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-11 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-11 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-17 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-17 (unofficial link) [link]

If a voter casts a provisional ballot at the wrong precinct, will the ballot be counted?

Yes, for those races that the voter was entitled to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

N.J. Stat. § 19:53C-17 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:53C-17 (unofficial link) [link]

Following up on a provisional ballot

If a first-time voter in the county did not present proper ID when registering or voting, the voter must go to the county commissioner of registration's office during business hours within two days after the election and present the ID.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

N.J. Stat. § 19:53C-1(b) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:53C-1(b) (unofficial link) [link]

Finding out if a provisional ballot was counted

When the provisional ballot is given to a voter, it will include instructions that have a phone number the voter can call or website the voter can access to determine whether the provisional ballot was counted and, if not, the reason it wasn't.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

N.J. Stat. § 19:53C-1(b) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:53C-1(b) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:61-4 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:61-4 (unofficial link) [link]

Ballot Shortages/Voting Machine Malfunctions

What is the law or procedure on emergency ballots if a polling place runs out of printed ballots? Are handwritten/photocopied ballots allowed?

If emergency ballots are required, voters must use officially printed emergency ballots that the polling place already has on hand; handwritten or photocopied ballots are not allowed. If a polling place runs out of emergency ballots, the district board of elections member in charge must contact the appropriate authority to request more emergency ballots be delivered.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

N.J. Stat. § 19:53B-3 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:53B-3 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 48-3.13 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 48-3.13 (unofficial link) [link]

What is the law or procedure on emergency ballots if a voting machine breaks or malfunctions?

When voting machines are inoperative, emergency ballots will be used and placed in emergency ballot boxes. Emergency ballots are counted as regular (non-provisional) ballots.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-29)

N.J. Stat. § 19:48-7 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:48-7 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:53B-3 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:53B-3 (unofficial link) [link]

Voter ID and Challenges

Voter ID

Who must show ID to vote?

A voter must show an ID when they vote if (1) the voter is voting for the first time in the county, and (2) the voter registered to vote by mail after January 1, 2003, and (3) the voter did not provide a valid ID at the time of registration. If this is the case, the voter must show an ID when they vote, or else they will be required to cast a provisional ballot and then appear at the county commissioner of registration's office during business hours within 2 days after the election to show this ID. This ID requirement does not apply to first-time voters who registered to vote in person or to people who have a right under federal law to vote an absentee ballot by mail (including military/overseas voters and voters with disabilities).

Additionally, voters who submit an absentee ballot in person at the county clerk's office, either personally or through a designated bearer, must prove their identity by showing an ID.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-17 (first-time voters) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-17 (first-time voters) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (first-time voters) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (first-time voters) (unofficial link)) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16(d) (returning absentee personally) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16(d) (returning absentee personally) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-11(c) (primary absentee) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-11(c) (primary absentee) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16 (absentee bearer) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16 (absentee bearer) (unofficial link) [link]

Are there any special requirements for first-time voters?

Yes. A voter must show an ID when they vote if (1) the voter is voting for the first time in the county, and (2) the voter registered to vote by mail after January 1, 2003, and (3) the voter did not provide a valid ID at the time of registration. If this is the case, the voter must show an ID when they vote, or else they will be required to cast a provisional ballot and then appear at the county commissioner of registration's office during business hours within 2 days after the election to show this ID.

This ID requirement does not apply to first-time voters who registered to vote in person or to people who have a right under federal law to vote an absentee ballot by mail (including military/overseas voters and voters with disabilities).

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-17 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-17 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (unofficial link)) [link]

What ID is acceptable?

For first-time voters in the county who registered to vote by mail, valid ID includes either:

  • A New Jersey driver's license number; or
  • Last four digits of the voter's Social Security Number; or
  • A current and valid photo identification card; or
  • A current utility bill, bank statement, government check or pay check; or
  • Any other government document that shows the individual's name and current address; or
  • Any other identifying document that the Attorney General has determined to be acceptable for this purpose.

For voters who submit an absentee ballot in person at the county clerk's office, valid ID includes either:

  • A New Jersey's driver's license; or
  • Another form of ID recognized as official by the federal government, New Jersey government, or a political subdivision of New Jersey, so long as the ID shows the voter's full address and signature.

If a voter designates someone as a bearer to submit their absentee ballot in person at the county clerk's office on the voter's behalf, then the bearer must show one of the above two forms of ID, except that the ID must show the bearer's full address and signature instead of the voter's full address and signature.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-17 (first time voters) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-17 (first time voters) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (first time voters) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (first time voters) (unofficial link)) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16(d) (returning absentee personally) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16(d) (returning absentee personally) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-11(c) (primary absentee) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-11(c) (primary absentee) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16 (absentee bearer) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16 (absentee bearer) (unofficial link) [link]

Is a student ID an acceptable form of identification?

Those first-time voters who need to show ID can show a student ID as long as it has a photo and is current and valid. Absentee voters (or their bearers) who submit an absentee ballot in person may use a student ID only if it has the voter's (or bearer's) full address and signature.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Division of Elections website (first-time voters) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-17 (first time voters) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-17 (first time voters) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (first time voters) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (first time voters) (unofficial link)) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16(d) (returning absentee personally) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16(d) (returning absentee personally) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-11(c) (primary absentee) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-11(c) (primary absentee) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16 (absentee bearer) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16 (absentee bearer) (unofficial link) [link]

Does the address on the ID have to match the address at which the voter is registered?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Division of Elections website (first-time voters) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-17 (first time voters) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-17 (first time voters) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (first time voters) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (first time voters) (unofficial link)) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16(d) (returning absentee personally) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16(d) (returning absentee personally) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-11(c) (primary absentee) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-11(c) (primary absentee) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16 (absentee bearer) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16 (absentee bearer) (unofficial link) [link]

If a voter has no ID, are there alternatives such as an oath or witness?

If a first-time voter who is required to show identification does not show ID, they will only be able to vote by provisional ballot. Then they have until the close of business on the second day after the election to provide identification to the applicable county election office or their ballot will not be counted.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-17 (first time voters) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-17 (first time voters) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (first time voters) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (first time voters) (unofficial link)) [link]

Do elections without federal offices on the ballot (such as off-year gubernatorial elections) have different ID requirements?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-17 (first time voters) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-17 (first time voters) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (first time voters) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-5 (first time voters) (unofficial link)) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16(d) (returning absentee personally) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16(d) (returning absentee personally) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-11(c) (primary absentee) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-11(c) (primary absentee) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16 (absentee bearer) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:63-16 (absentee bearer) (unofficial link) [link]

Challenges to Voters at the Polling Place

Who can challenge a voter at the polling place?

Appointed challengers and members of the district board.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18 (unofficial link) [link]

What are the allowed reasons on which a voter can be challenged at the polling place?

A voter may be challenged on the grounds that they are not qualified to vote for any of the following reasons:

  • They are not a U.S. citizen
  • They are not registered to vote
  • They are not 18 years of age or older
  • They have not been a resident of the county for at least 30 days before the election
  • They are a convicted felon on probation or parole.

A challenger or district board member may not challenge, delay, or prevent the right to vote of any person because of that person's race, color, national origin, expected manner of casting a vote or residence in a particular ward, housing complex or section of a municipality or county.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18 (unofficial link) [link]

Is there a requirement for the challenger to provide cause or evidence?

A challenger or member of the district board may challenge a voter if they know, suspect or believe the voter not to be qualified or entitled to vote. A challenger must sign an affidavit stating the reason for the challenge.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18.2 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18.2 (unofficial link) [link]

How does a voter defend their eligibility to vote if they are challenged?

If a voter's right to vote is challenged, the board member or challenger may ask the voter to present identification and the voter must sign an affidavit. The challenged voter can establish their right to vote by (1) signing an affidavit which states the voter's qualifications to vote, and (2) (2) presenting an ID which may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • A valid New Jersey driver's license; or
  • A sample ballot which lists the voter's name and address; or
  • An official federal, State, county or municipal document that lists the voter's name and address; or
  • A utility or telephone bill or tax or rent receipt dated; or
  • A piece of mail postmarked, on or after the 60th day before the day of the election at which the voter is challenged.

The district board of elections will vote on whether to uphold or reject the challenge. If the challenge is rejected, the voter may cast a regular ballot. If a majority of the board upholds the challenge, the voter may not vote, but the voter will be given a document explaining the grounds of the challenge, and the voter has the right to go to a Superior Court Judge to prove their qualifications and request a court order to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-24 (majority vote of board) (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-24 (majority vote of board) (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18.1 (official link) (establishing right to vote) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18.1 (unofficial link) (establishing right to vote) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18.2 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18.2 (unofficial link) [link]

http://www.state.nj.us/counties/mercer/commissions/pdfs/boe_voterrightshandbook.pdf [link]

http://law.justia.com/codes/new-jersey/2013/title-19/section-19-15-18.3 [link]

http://law.justia.com/codes/new-jersey/2013/title-19/section-19-15-18.2 [link]

http://law.justia.com/codes/new-jersey/2013/title-19/section-19-15-18.1 [link]

What are the restrictions on polling place challenges?

A challenger or district board member may not challenge, delay, or prevent the right to vote of any person because of that person's race, color, national origin, expected manner of casting a vote or residence in a particular ward, housing complex or section of a municipality or county.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:15-18 (unofficial link) [link]

State and Local Election Officials

The State Election Authority

Who/what is the state election authority?

Secretary of State

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6a (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-6a (unofficial link) [link]

Current official

Kim Guadagno

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

E-mail

njelections@sos.state.nj.us[mailto:njelections@sos.state.nj.us]

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

http://nj.gov/state/elections/contact.html [link]

Phone

609-292-3760

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

http://nj.gov/state/elections/contact.html [link]

Address

Mailing Address: NJ Division of Elections
PO Box 304
Trenton, NJ 08625-0304

Physical Address: 225 West State Street
3rd Floor
Trenton, NJ 08608

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

http://nj.gov/state/elections/contact.html [link]

Local Election Authorities

What local election official(s) are in charge of major state-level elections (such as the even-year November general elections)?

County board of elections, which may delegate its powers to the board's clerk (called the "county clerk"). The secretary of the board, of the superintendent of elections in counties that have a superintendent, serves as the county's commissioner of registration.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Stat. § 19:6-24 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:6-24 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-2 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-2 (unofficial link) [link]

What is the county-level election official?

County board of elections, which may delegate its powers to the board's clerk (called the "county clerk"). The secretary of the board, of the superintendent of elections in counties that have a superintendent, serves as the county's commissioner of registration.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Stat. § 19:6-24 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:6-24 (unofficial link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-2 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-2 (unofficial link) [link]

What is the municipal-level election official?

The county board of elections, but a municipal clerk may be designated to accept voter registrations in addition to the county's commissioner of registration.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-7 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-7 (unofficial link) [link]

Contact information for local election authorities

[http://nj.gov/state/elections/voting-information-local-officials.html]

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

http://nj.gov/state/elections/voting-information-local-officials.html [link]

The Voter File

Voter File Basics

National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) Disclosure Law

Section 8 of the federal NVRA requires that each State maintain for at least 2 years and make available for public inspection and, where available, photocopying at a reasonable cost, all records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency of official lists of eligible voters, except to the extent that such records contain information about a person declining to register to vote or information about the identity of a voter registration agency through which a particular voter might have chosen to register.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

52 U.S.C. § 20507 [link]

Acquiring a Voter File

Under state procedure, who may acquire a voter file?

Any voter.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-18.1 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-18.1 (unofficial link) [link]

How much does the state charge for the file?

The county commissioner of registration can charge for any or all election district voter registration lists no more than the actual cost of reproduction or no more than $375, whichever is less.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-18.1 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-18.1 (unofficial link) [link]

What format is the file available in?

Electronic or computer-generated.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-18.1 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-18.1 (unofficial link) [link]

Use of the Voter File

Does the state have restrictions on commercial use of the voter file?

A voter list cannot be used as a basis for commercial or charitable solicitation of the voters on the list.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-18.1 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-18.1 (unofficial link) [link]

Does the state have restrictions on non-commercial use of the voter file?

A voter list cannot be used as a basis for commercial or charitable solicitation of the voters on the list.

Source (confirmed on: 2015-10-30)

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-18.1 (official link) [link]

N.J. Stat. § 19:31-18.1 (unofficial link) [link]