For more information, please visit the New Jersey Division of Elections website.
The November 3 General Election will be conducted primarily by mail. Vote-by-mail ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by the county board of elections by 8:00 p.m. on November 10. Vote-by-mail ballots can also be hand-delivered by 8:00 p.m. on November 3 to: (1) a secure ballot drop box, (2) the appropriate county board of elections, or (3) the voter’s designated polling place.
Polling locations will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Voters in line by 8:00 p.m. are entitled to vote. Voters who appear at a polling place on Election Day will not vote on a voting machine but instead will vote by provisional paper ballot. If, after the election, administrators determine that the voter who cast the provisional ballot was eligible to vote, the ballot will be counted as a regular ballot.
- Exceptions will be made only for voters with disabilities, who will be allowed to vote on an ADA-accessible voting machine. Voters with disabilities may receive assistance with voting either from a person of their own choice or from two members of the county board of elections of opposite political affiliations.
In person on Election Day:
Each county is required to open at least one polling place per municipality, and a minimum of 50% of its regular polling places. The counties may open more polling places if possible.
- Strict social distancing and sanitation guidelines must be in place at all open polling places. However, if a voter or person accompanying a voter refuses to comply with CDC guidelines, poll workers may not deny the voter or accompanying person entry to the polling location.
Voters may refer to their county board of elections website or the New Jersey Division of Elections website to determine which polling locations will be open for in-person voting. Voters can determine their polling place by entering their address in the New Jersey Division of Elections’ polling place locator. Also, a notice will be mailed to all “active” registered voters by October 23 informing them of their polling place.
Returning Vote-by-Mail Ballots:
Voters may mail their completed ballots to the county board of elections. To be counted, the ballots must be postmarked on or before November 3, 2020 and received by 8:00 p.m. on November 10, 2020. Vote-by-mail ballots will come with prepaid return envelopes.
Voters may also cast their vote by hand-delivering their vote-by-mail ballot to the appropriate county board of elections, dropping the ballot in a secure drop box, or submitting the ballot at their designated polling location by 8:00 p.m. on November 3.
- NOTE: Every county must provide at least ten secure ballot drop boxes in locations readily accessible to the registered voters within that county. Drop boxes will be available at least 45 days prior to the Election. The locations of the drop boxes will be provided on the county board of elections’ website and in the notice sent to “active” registered voters.
NOTE: Voters may turn in only their own vote-by-mail ballot at their polling place. Polling places will not accept a ballot submitted by a “bearer.”
The registration deadline is 21 days before Election Day. The registration deadline for the November 3, 2020 General Election is October 13, 2020. Registration forms must be either postmarked or hand-delivered by that date. As of September 4, 2020, eligible voters may also register to vote online.
How to Check Your Registration:
Voters can determine whether they are registered to vote by checking the New Jersey Division of Elections’ website and clicking the “Am I Registered” tab. Alternatively, they can call 1-877-NJ-VOTER.
In order to be eligible to register in New Jersey, a person must:
- Be a citizen of the United States;
- Reside in New Jersey and in the county of registration for at least 30 days before the election;
- Be at least 17 years old (but a person who registers at 17 cannot vote until he or she turns 18);
- NOT be currently incarcerated for a felony conviction; and
- NOT have been declared by a court as incompetent to understand the act of voting.
How to Register:
New Jersey residents may register in person, by mail, or online.
In order to register by mail, a voter may:
- Download a vote-by-mail form from this website.
- Mail or deliver it to the County Commissioner of Registration or Superintendent of Elections for the voter’s county (addresses are available here). No postage is necessary if the registration form is mailed in the U.S.; the mailing address is printed on the back of the form.
- An individual may register to vote in person at any of the following places:
- State Division of Elections (address is available at: https://nj.gov/state/elections/index.shtml)
- County Commissioner of Registration or Superintendent of Elections for the voter’s county, or the voter’s Municipal Clerk’s Office (addresses are available here.
- Motor Vehicle Commission Office or Division of Motor Vehicle Office
- 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 – Dep’t 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
- Through a voter registration drive
- An individual may register to vote online
Identification Required for Registration:
The New Jersey voter registration form asks all registrants to provide a driver’s license number, non-driver identification number, or the last four digits of a Social Security number, or to swear or affirm that they do not have any such number. Individuals who register by mail and who cannot provide one of the requested numbers must present a copy of an acceptable form of identification at the time of registration or at any time before voting. Acceptable identification includes either a current and valid photo identification (e.g., New Jersey driver’s license, military or other government identification, student or job identification, store membership card, U.S. Passport), or any current document with the voter’s name and address such as a bank statement, pay check, rent receipt, sample ballot, utility bill, government check, car registration, non-photo driver’s license or any other official document.
Online registration requires one of the following forms of identification: New Jersey driver’s license number, Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) non-driver identification number, or Social Security number. Voters who use a Social Security number as identification must be able to sign the application on-screen or upload a digital signature. Voters who use a driver’s license or other MVC identification do not need to include a digital signature.
If You Want to Vote in Person before Election Day:
Early in-person voting is not explicitly allowed in New Jersey, but the law permits a voter to apply for, pick up, and return a vote-by-mail ballot in person on any day up to and including Election Day, so long as the completed ballot is delivered to the county board of elections by 8:00 p.m. on November 3. In most counties, the clerk’s office is near the county board of elections, making this early in-person voting option more feasible. (Note: a completed vote-by-mail ballot can also be mailed or delivered to a drop box on or before November 3, or to the voter’s designated polling location before the close of polls on November 3.)
- NOTE: A voter who plans to return their application for, and pick up and drop off, a vote-by-mail ballot on Election Day should leave enough time to travel from the county clerk’s office to the drop-off location before 8:00 p.m.
- See below for identification requirements that apply when hand-delivering a ballot to a county board of elections.
If You Want to Vote by Vote-by-Mail Ballot:
Requesting an absentee/vote-by-mail ballot:
The November 3 General Election will be conducted primarily by mail. Vote-by-mail ballots will automatically be sent to all “active” registered voters. (An “active” voter is one whose registration is current and accurate.) “Active” voters do not need to fill out an application for a vote-by-mail ballot.
A voter who does not automatically receive a vote-by-mail ballot, or who wishes to receive it at an address different from the last mailing address on file with election officials, may complete an application to vote by mail. Applications for vote-by-mail ballots can be returned by mail or in person to the county clerk.
- October 23: To allow the county clerk sufficient time to mail out ballots to voters, vote-by-mail application returned by mail must be received by the county clerk by October 23.
- November 3: A voter may return a vote-by-mail application in person to the county clerk on any day up to and including Election Day, November 3. Upon receiving a complete and valid application, the clerk will provide the voter with a vote-by-mail ballot.
A voter has the option of automatically receiving a vote-by-mail ballot for all future elections. If a voter no longer wants to receive a vote-by-mail ballot automatically, the voter must notify the appropriate county clerk’s office in writing.
Casting an absentee/vote-by-mail ballot:
- Postmarked by November 3: Voters may mail their completed ballots to their county board of elections. All mailed ballots and applications will include pre-paid return envelopes. Voters who mail their vote-by-mail ballots must ensure that they are postmarked on or before November 3, 2020, and the ballot must be received by the board of elections by 8:00 p.m. on November 10, 2020.
- In person by 8:00 p.m. November 3: Voters may hand-deliver completed vote-by-mail ballots to their county board of elections, drop the ballots in secure drop boxes, or return them at their designated polling location by 8:00 p.m. on November 3.
- NOTE: Every county must provide at least ten secure ballot drop boxes in locations readily accessible to the registered voters within that county. Drop boxes will be available at least 45 days prior to the election. The locations of the drop boxes will be provided on the county board of elections’ website, and notice will be sent to “active” registered voters.
- NOTE: Voters may turn in only their own ballot at their polling place.
- NOTE: Identification will be required for voters hand-delivering their ballots to the county board of elections, and a certification will be required for hand-delivery to a polling place.
Vote-by-mail ballot never arrived:
If a vote-by-mail ballot did not arrive, the voter may contact their county clerk to get a replacement ballot or they may vote in person by provisional ballot at the voter’s designated polling location on Election Day.
New Jersey voters can vote without showing identification, with a few exceptions.
First, a first-time voter who registered by mail and did not provide an accurate driver’s license number, non-driver identification number, the last four digits of a Social Security number, or acceptable identification at that time must present identification at the polling place on Election Day in order to vote by provisional paper ballot. Acceptable identification includes either a current and valid photo identification (e.g., New Jersey driver’s license, student or job identification card, store membership card, U.S. passport, military identification), or any current document with the voter’s name and address such as a bank statement, pay check, rent receipt, sample ballot, utility bill, government check, car registration, or non-photo driver’s license.
Second, if a voter hand-delivers a completed vote-by-mail ballot to the county board, that voter must provide proof of his/her identity in the form of a New Jersey driver’s license, or another form of identification issued or recognized as official by the federal government, the State, or any of its subdivisions, provided that the identification carries the full address and signature of the voter. Additionally, the voter must sign a record kept by the county listing all personally delivered mail-in ballots.
Third, a voter who hand-delivers a completed vote-by-mail ballot to a polling place will not be required to present identification but will be asked to complete and sign a certification.
Moving Within the Same County:
If a voter has moved within the same district, the voter may cast a ballot in the same manner as other voters (on November 3, that is by provisional paper ballot) upon completing a written affirmation at the polling place. If a voter has moved to a different district within the same county, the voter may vote by provisional ballot in the district to which he or she has moved, upon completing a written affirmation at the polling place.
Moving Between Counties:
If, on or before the 31st day before the election, a voter moved to a new county from another state or county and did not register to vote, he or she is ineligible to vote. However, if the voter moved to a new county from another county in New Jersey within 30 days of the election, he or she may be eligible to vote in the election district where the voter resided before moving.
Moving From Another State:
A voter who moves to New Jersey from out-of-state must register and reside at the new address for 30 days before the election in order to vote.
Military and other overseas citizens may use the standard procedure for voting by mail, but there are also special provisions for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and merchant marine, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with family members of all these groups, and other citizens who reside outside the United States.
Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot:
There are several ways in which military and overseas voters may register to vote and request and obtain a ballot. To register, they may fill out and mail a New Jersey voter registration form, which must be postmarked by October 13, 2020, or fill out a Federal Post Card Application, which must be received by October 13, 2020, whether returned by mail, email, or fax. The Federal Post Card Application allows eligible military or overseas voters to simultaneously register and request their absentee ballot. However, if an eligible voter registers with a state voter registration form, they must separately apply for a vote-by-mail ballot.
Military and overseas voters may also register to vote and request an absentee ballot by calling 1-877-NJ-VOTER.
Receiving an Absentee Ballot:
Military and overseas voters may receive their blank absentee ballots by airmail or electronic transmission. To request electronic transmission of the blank ballot, military and overseas voters must mark the appropriate box and provide an email address or fax number on the Federal Post Card Application.
Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot:
The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that military and overseas voters may use. These voters may use the FWAB whether they are located inside or outside the United States (including APO and FPO addresses), provided that they are away from their voting residence for service-related activities, or if they are U.S. citizens residing outside the U.S. who registered and requested an absentee ballot by the request deadline. If they do not receive their regular ballot in time, they may use the FWAB.
Casting an Absentee Ballot:
Ballots may be returned by airmail, commercial carrier, or hand-delivery, or by fax or email. Ballots sent by mail must be postmarked by November 3 and received by 8:00 p.m. November 10; ballots sent by other means must be received by the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. For specific instructions, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s website.
New Jersey law permits persons with a felony conviction to vote so long as they are not currently incarcerated. Such voters must complete a new voter registration form once they become eligible and mail or hand-deliver it 21 days before the election (October 13, 2020).
Pretrial detainees who have not yet been convicted and persons with misdemeanor convictions (also called a “disorderly persons offense” in New Jersey) are not disqualified from voting. Like all other qualified voters, those serving jail time in pretrial detention or on misdemeanor convictions may apply for and cast a vote-by-mail ballot.