Registering to Vote
It’s easy to register to vote in New Jersey. There are many places within the state that are expected to provide voter registration service (such as libraries, post offices, Motor Vehicles, and social service agencies, etc.).
See NJ Department of State for information on how and where to register to vote and answers to “voter frequently asked questions.”
Qualifications for Registering to Vote
There are certain requirements to know about before you register. A qualified voter must be: A native-born or naturalized U.S. citizen who is:
- 18 years old by election day
- a resident of the state and county at least 30 days before an election
- not denied right to vote due to either court adjudication of “idiocy” or “insanity”
- not serving a sentence, or on parole or probation for an indictable offense
There Is An Additional Election Law Requirement In New Jersey
Identification must be provided when registering by mail, either on the registration form or in person the first time you vote. Either your driver’s license number, last four digits of your Social Security number or a copy of a listed document showing your name and address satisfy the identification requirement.
You register by filling out a registration form and filing it with your County Elections office in the county where you reside. If you are a college student or military, this may mean that you register in the county that you consider to be your home. Important voter information will be sent to the mailing address you specify. It is helpful to understand that there may not be “a (single) county election office”, but several offices at which there are, for each county, a county clerk, a superintendent of elections, and a board of elections. Often these are at one street address. The Commissioners of Registration cannot accept faxed copies or an electronic transmission of a voter registration form since an original signature is required.
Fastest Way to Register
Go to your County Elections office, fill out a registration form, and personally hand it to them. You will be registered on the spot.
Fairly Speedy Way to Register
Mail your registration form to your County Elections office. You can call and have them mail you a form, pick one up from a location in town (often a library or post office), or download the form. This entire process usually takes about a week including mailing time.
Filling out the on-line form is the slowest way, and could cause you to miss the deadline. First you fill out the form and click the “submit” button to send it in. In about two weeks (or more if the system gets backed up), the state will mail you a form to sign, since an original signature is required. (For this same reason, a fax of your registration form cannot be accepted). You must then send that form to your County Elections office.
The Most Fun Way
Meet a New Jersey citizen or citizen advocate, who has a supply of registration forms, who is seeking people who are not registered. The form is filled out and instructions are given about proper signature and where to mail it. Sometimes, new relationships are formed. Perhaps, you will want to register other voters in this way.
Where To Find Information
The best place to find voter registration information, voter registration forms, locations and telephone numbers of County Elections offices is on the following site .
When you register, you may declare your party membership. This is not mandatory unless you wish to vote in either party’s primary election. If you do not vote in a primary election, you will have no voice in deciding who will be on the final ballot. You need not, however, be affiliated with a political party to vote in actual elections.
When to Re-Register
Registration is permanent but you must re-register if you:
- Change your name: You are entitled to vote only in the next election by signing your registration sheet at the polls with both your previous and new name. After that, you must re-register in your new name.
- Change your residence within the county: By the 21st day before election, file a change of address form with municipal clerk or county commissioner of registration.
- After the 21st day before election, you may correct your registration on election day at the office of the municipal clerk in your new community of residence.
- Change your residence outside county: By the 21st day before election, you must re-register in new county. If you move after the 21st day before an election, you are permitted to vote in your former election district after signing an “Affirmation of Residency” form.
How To Find Your Voting Place
Finding your polling place is very quick and easy. Although that location may be known to your neighbors or stated on the confirmation of your voter registration, the location can be verified here .