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Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to some common questions. Please feel free to call the League of Women Voters of New Jersey at 1-800-792-VOTE (8683) with any questions.

Q. Am I registered to vote?

You can check on your voter registration status by calling your county Commissioner of Registration or Superintendent of Elections or check online.

Q. Who can register to vote? When do I need to re-register?

Who May Register To Vote

You can register to vote if:
  • You are a US citizen, you are at least 17 years old (with the understanding you may not vote before your 18th birthday), and you will have been a resident of a New Jersey county for at least 30 days before the election.
  • A court has not specifically determined that you lack the mental capacity to understand the act of voting. A guardianship order or placement in a mental hospital that does not specifically revoke your voting rights is not enough.
  • You are not in prison, on probation or on parole for a felony conviction. If you're serving time for a misdemeanor or civil matter you can still vote. You have the right to register and to vote from jail using a vote by mail ballot. If you lost your voting rights for a felony conviction, your right to vote is restored once you complete your sentence, parole and probation. You must re-register to vote, even if you were registered before your conviction.

When To Re-Register

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 address: You must re-register and check off "address change" on the form. If you have moved within the county since you registered to vote and have not re-registered you have the right to vote by provisional ballot after completing an affirmation statement. Your provisional ballot serves as a registration form.

Q. Do I need to bring identification with me to the polls?

You need to provide ID if you are a first-time voter who registered by mail and did not provide identification numbers or the information you provided could not be verified.

Identification may include, but is not limited to, a current and valid photo ID such as a:
  • Driver's license
  • Student or job ID
  • Military or other government ID
  • Store membership ID
  • United States Passport
OR non-photo ID such as a:
  • Bank statement
  • Car registration
  • Government check or document
  • Non-photo driver's license
  • Rent receipt
  • Sample ballot
  • Utility bill
  • or any other official document

If you can provide ID, you are allowed to vote at the polls on the machine.

However, if you do not show identification, you will vote by provisional ballot and have until the close of business on the second day after the election to provide identification to the applicable county election office. You will be given a hand-out at the polling place that will tell you which county election office to contact.

Q. Can anyone vote using a Vote by Mail ballot? How do I apply for one? What do I do if I applied and did not receive it?

Vote by Mail ballots are available for any registered voter for any election. You do not need to have a reason to request a Vote by Mail ballot, but you must complete an application.

To receive your Vote by Mail Ballot by mail, your County Clerk must receive your application 7 days prior to the election. You may also apply in person to your County Clerk until 3:00 pm, the day before the election.

If you apply for a Vote By Mail Ballot and do not receive one, you may vote at the polls using a provisional ballot.

Q. Do I have to declare a political party?

You may declare a party affiliation when registering to vote, but you are not required to do so to vote in most elections. However, to vote in a primary election you must declare a political party. Currently, only the Democratic and Republican parties qualify for primary elections. If you are an unaffiliated voter, you may declare at the polls the day of a primary election. You retain this party affiliation unless you file a Party Affiliation Declaration form.

Q. What is a provisional ballot? Under what circumstances would I need to vote using one and how can I find out if it was counted?

Provisional ballots are paper ballots that are used at the polling place under the following circumstances:
  • If your registration information is missing or is not complete in the poll book.
  • You moved from your registered address to another one in the same county and did not re-register at your new address.
  • You are a first-time voter and when you registered to vote you did not provide proper identification or the information you provided could not be verified and you did not bring it on election day.
  • You requested a Vote by Mail ballot but did not receive it.

After you give your provisional ballot to a poll worker, you must be given a number to call to find out if your ballot was counted and if not, why not.

Q. How can I report a problem at my polling place?

Complaint forms are available at your polling place. You may also call your county Board of Elections. Additionally, please contact the League of Women Voters at 1-800-792-VOTE (8683) so we may document your problem.

© 2011 League of Women Voters of New Jersey Website by Valerie Baehr