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Siperstein Library: Voting Resources

Voting Resources

"Someone struggled for your right to vote. Use it." — Susan B. Anthony

Changes to Voting Procedure

Important!!

The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed the voting process.  Normally, voting takes place in person at local polling locations if you are living in New Jersey. If you are living out of state, you can apply for an absentee ballot.

This summer, we had a primary election on July 7th. Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order to allow voting to take place primarily by mail. Everyone who was registered to vote, regardless of party, got a ballot in the mail. 

Information about the General Election, held in November, has yet to be released.  When it is available we will update this website--it's probably a good idea to be prepared to vote by mail.  And don't forget to register to vote!

Eligibility

To register to vote in New Jersey, you must be:

  • A United States citizen 
  • At least 17 years old, though you may not vote until you have reached the age of 18
  • A resident of the county for 30 days before the election
  • A person NOT currently serving a sentence, probation or parole because of a felony conviction

 

Going Away to College?

If you will be out of state for an election, apply to a receive an absentee or mail in ballot here. The deadline is 7 days before the election.

Questions?

How to Register--Mail

Forms are available on NJ's Department of State Website. Be sure to print out the form that corresponds to the county where you reside. Fill out the form and put it in the mail--no postage needed. Be aware:the deadline is 21 days before the election.

Note: Unfortunately, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still no online voter registration option in New Jersey. If you are unable to print out your registration form or get to the post office, reach out to Mr. Reese (wreese@spprep.org) or Ms. Friedlander (friedlanders@spprep.org).

How to Register--DMV

You can also register to vote when you get your driver’s license or state ID from the DMV. They will send your information to the Department of State on your behalf. Please note, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DMVs may be closed or only open to limited service. Check the DMV's website before you go!

How to Vote--Primaries

A primary is how political parties choose their candidate for an election. In most states, including New Jersey, only the members of the party can vote in the primary. For example, only voters registered as Democrats can vote in the Democratic primary in June. In New Jersey, you are allowed to choose a political party when you register, or whenever you'd like, up to the day of the primary.

A polling location, New York, 1900.

How to Vote--General elections

Before you go:

Look up your polling place & hours. (here) Most polling places are open from 6AM to 8PM.

When you arrive at your polling location: 

There should be signs directing you “vote here”.  Follow the signs, as most polling locations are schools or other institutions in large buildings. When you find the right room, there should be several people at a table, or multiple tables, with lists of names. ***If you are not on the list, check to see if you have the right location.*** Once it’s your turn, approach the table and give your name to the volunteer at the desk.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In the state of New Jersey, you DO NOT need to show any form of ID to vote. It’s illegal to bar eligible people from voting. If this happens to you, try asking another volunteer for help, or leave and come back later. You can also call (866) OUR-VOTE to speak to a lawyer about your rights.

Once you give your name, the volunteer will look you up in their roster. You will have to sign in and confirm the information (your name and address) on their roster. 

Then you will be shown to a voting booth, which is a little cubicle that holds a voting machine. The cubicle should have a little curtain for privacy.

ANOTHER NOTE: Voting machines can look very different from state to state, or county to county. Some machines require a paper ballot, some are completely computerized. If you can’t figure out how your machine works, ask a volunteer for help. Don’t forget to cast your ballot!