KNOW YOUR RIGHTS & F.A.Q.

Your vote is important. The League of Women Voters is dedicated to protecting everyone's right to vote. If you have any questions about voting or encounter any problems, please call 1-800-792-VOTE (8683) for assistance.

If you are not allowed to vote, you have the right to present your case to an election judge on Election Day who will determine your eligibility to vote.

You can register to vote if:

  • You are a US citizen, you are currently 17 years of age (understanding you may not VOTE before your 18th birthday), and 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 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, probation and parole. You must re-register to vote, even if you were registered before your conviction.

On election days, you have the right to:

  • Vote without intimidation, threats, coercion, or interference.
  • Bring your children into the voting booth with you.
  • File a signed or anonymous written complaint at your polling place or by mail, telephone, or online if you are dissatisfied with the way the election is being run.
  • Bring someone of your choice into the voting booth to assist you with voting if you cannot read or write English or have a disability. You can also request special assistance from the poll worker.
  • Vote by an emergency paper ballot if the machines are malfunctioning. Emergency ballots are counted automatically.
  • Be given a provisional ballot if you are not allowed to vote on a machine or by emergency ballot, with written instructions about your provisional ballot and how to find out if it was counted. Your eligibility to vote must be verified by the county before your provisional ballot is counted.
  • Vote under your original name if you have changed your name since registering to vote.
  • Ask for assistance from a poll worker.

You have the right to vote by Provisional Ballot if:

  • You believe you are entitled to vote, but your name is not on the poll list of voters.
  • You have moved recently within your county, but have not registered at your new address.
  • You are a first-time voter and you did not provide the accepted form of I.D. when you registered to vote, and did not bring it to your polling place on Election Day. You must bring acceptable I.D. to the appropriate county office within 48 hours of voting in order for your provisional ballot to be counted. Poll workers must give you a form that tells you where to bring your I.D.
  • You requested a vote by mail ballot but didn't receive it in time.



Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find answers to some frequently asked 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 your voter registration status by calling your county Commissioner of Registration or Superintendent of Elections, or by checking online.

Q.
Who can register to vote?





When do I need to re-register?


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.

You must re-register to vote 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 registration 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 will serve 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 did provide 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 a 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 your polling place, on the machine.

However, if you do not show identification, you will have to vote by provisional ballot, and you 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 to vote by mail?

What do I do if I applied and did not receive it?


Yes, 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 (formerly known as an "absentee ballot"), but you must complete and submit a Vote-by-Mail application.

To receive your Vote-by-Mail Ballot by mail, your County Clerk must receive your application no less than 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.

Learn more about voting by mail and what's new in 2018 here.

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 re-file a Party Affiliation Declaration form.

Q.
What is a provisional ballot?
Under what circumstances would I need to vote using one?

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 or did not mail it in.
Review our Provisional Ballot FAQs to learn more about voting by provisional ballot.



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.

If you are concerned your vote will not be counted, or if you believe you have the right to cast your vote on a voting machine, you have the right to appear before an Election Judge. Call our Voter Hotline, 1-800-792-VOTE (8683) for assistance.

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.