COVID-19 - VOTING INFORMATION & RESOURCES


The League of Women Voters of New Jersey believes defending democracy and empowering voters is crucial as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our lives and our elections. This page will be updated often to ensure voters have the information they need to participate at the ballot box. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Jesse Burns at
jburns@lwvnj.org.

COVID-19 Impact on the
November General Election

General Election Vote-by-Mail

   

How to Complete a Vote-by-Mail Ballot

Primary Election Webinar

Primary Election FAQ

Click below to view the full document!

Secure Drop Box and Polling Place Locations by County

  

League of Women Voters of New Jersey & Voting Rights Groups Challenge New Jersey Signature Match Ballot Requirement 

May 18, 2020 - The League of Women Voters of New Jersey filed a lawsuit in partnership with the NAACP New Jersey State Conference, an individual New Jersey voter, Campaign Legal Center, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, and Kaufman Lieb Lebowitz & Frick LLP, asking for relief for voters from the state’s flawed ballot signature match requirements which, each election, often impacts at least one percent of all mail-in voters.

As New Jersey continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy announced Friday that mail ballots will automatically be sent to the state’s active Republican and Democratic voters, with applications sent to unaffiliated and inactive registered voters. The resultant surge in mail ballots underscores the urgent need for procedural safeguards to assure voters that they can cast their mail ballots with confidence.

“Because of our efforts to keep our democracy both safe and robust during the coronavirus pandemic, millions of voters will receive vote-by-mail ballots ahead of the July primary,” said Jesse Burns, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey. “Now the state needs to safeguard voters’ constitutional rights and ensure every vote counts. We need a process in place immediately that allows voters to cure their ballots if they make minor errors, or voters will be disenfranchised.”

** UPDATE ** June 26, 2020 -  The League of Women Voters of New Jersey reached a settlement that applies to the July 7 primary only. The litigation continues as we work toward finding a long term solution. For the primary, you will be promptly notified if your vote by mail ballot is rejected. You will be sent a notification in the mail informing you if your ballot has been tentatively rejected for a signature issue. 

The notification will include a form that you must complete to fix the signature issue and return it in person, by fax, email, or mail by 2pm on July 23. If the form is mailed it must be received - not postmarked - by the board of elections by the close of business on July 23.

Voters are not required to submit a copy of an identification document. ​A voter’s identity will be confirmed by having them provide either their driver license number, non-driver identification number or the last four digits of their social security number.​ However, if a voter does not have these items, they will have to provide a copy of id from a long list of alternatives.

COVID-19 IMPACT ON ELECTIONS: EXECUTIVE ORDER #144

  

Voting Rights Advocates Provide Plan for New Jersey Elections

Groups’ Recommendations Detail Steps to be Taken to Avoid Disenfranchisement
A diverse coalition of 35 statewide, local, and national organizations sent recommendations to Governor Murphy, Secretary of State Way, and legislative leadership laying out steps that must be taken to ensure that New Jersey’s upcoming elections are successful and robust. The groups stressed the need to protect health and voting rights by expanding, not restricting, access to the ballot.

Governor Murphy issued an Executive Order earlier this month postponing the primary election until July 7, 2020 but has yet to announce any logistical decisions regarding the election.  

“It is paramount to prioritize health and safety, while also ensuring a thriving participatory democracy.Voting must be categorized as an ‘essential service’ and voters must have multiple options for accessing the ballot during this crisis. We are most concerned with communities, such as communities of color and the disability community, that historically face obstacles to the ballot,” said the groups in the letter. 

The letter laid out specific recommendations to address voter registration, vote-by-mail, polling place protections, voter education, and voter protection. The groups’ recommendation stake a 360 degree approach to ensuring every eligible voter has multiple options to participate in New Jersey’s elections.

The groups added, “We understand that there are no easy decisions. Every decision made during these trying times comes with repercussions … But it is precisely during times of crisis that we most need to lean on our collective resolve to ensure a healthy and reliable democracy … Our citizens need to have faith that their voices are heard, now more than ever, and we must do everything in our power to protect the sacred institution of voting.”  

Excerpted recommendations are below. Read the full letter here.

Voter Registration
  • Dedication resources to launching online voter registration.
  • Relax voter registration deadlines and permit Election Day voter registration.
  • Update the “My Voter Information” section of the NJ Division of Elections to provide more thorough voter registration information for individuals.
Polling Places
  • Encourage vote-by-mail, but also maintain in-person voting opportunities to ensure all voters have equal opportunities to cast a ballot, including those for whom vote-by-mail is not an equitable solution.
  • Adequately sanitize polling places and follow CDC guidelines and provide PPE to keep poll workers safe.
  • Determine polling place location changes as early as possible, and ensure locations are ADA     compliant and located in areas that are easily accessible to historically marginalized communities; communicate changes clearly; maintain current number of polling locations.
  • Prepare polling places for the casting of a large number of provisional ballots.
  • Expand in-person early voting to help reduce the chances of long lines or crowds during Election Day.
Vote-by-Mail (VBM)
  • Mail ballots to all voters with clear instructions.
  • Include pre-paid postage on VBM return envelopes.
  • Send ballot and accompanying materials in all relevant languages, as required by the Voting Rights Act.
  • Allow for voters to request and return VBM ballots in-person.
  • Allow for multiple ballot drop-off options, including secure ballot drop-off locations and drop boxes. Like polling places, these locations should be determined as early as possible, be ADA compliant, and be located in areas that are easily accessible to historically marginalized populations. Drop box locations should be listed on the New Jersey Division of Elections website.
  • To account for delays in mail service, the 48-hour time period for vote-by-mail ballots to be received after the close of polls should be relaxed.
  • Tracking procedures for voters to track their mail-in ballots – as well as find out if it was counted, and if it was rejected, why it was rejected – should be clearly communicated and easily accessible.
  • Provide easy online access for voters to determine their vote-by-mail registration status.
Voter Protection
  • Ensure that Election Day judges are available to determine voter eligibility.
  • Voters must receive notice if their vote-by-mail ballots have been rejected because of a signature     match, missing signature, or other technical issue. Voters must be afforded an opportunity to correct issues or otherwise “cure” their ballot to ensure their ballot is counted. The voter must also be given ways to correct vote-by-mail issues that either do not involve or that limit in-person interaction.

News & Announcements:

One in 10 Ballots Rejected in Last Month’s Vote-by-Mail Elections - NJ Spotlight, June 10, 2020

Montclair’s Mail-In Balloting Process Undergoing Sharp Scrutiny - Montclair Local, May 20, 2020

Organizations Sue, Try to Force State to Fix Problems with Vote-by-Mail Signature Verification - NJ Spotlight, May 19, 2020

Voting rights groups laud Murphy’s hybrid primary plan - New Jersey Globe, May 18, 2020

New Jersey Primary Will Be Primarily Vote-By-Mail Election As COVID-19-Related Deaths Eclipse 10,000 - CBSPhilly, May 15, 2020

Coronavirus Pandemic Updates: Election-day voter registration for N.J. primary? - WHYY, March 27, 2020

All Special Elections and School Board Elections this Year will be VBM - InsiderNJ, March 19, 2020

Gov. Murphy signs executive order to postpone NJ elections - FOX29 Philadelphia, March 19, 2020

In Light of Public Health Crisis, Groups Call On NJ to Make Vote-By-Mail More Accessible - InsiderNJ, March 18, 2020

League of Women Voters of New Jersey suspends all in-person events