How to Vote – Frequently Asked Questions
When is the primary election?
The first Tuesday after the first Monday in June.
When is the general election?
The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
Who can register to vote?
Any person may register to vote who is:
- a U.S. citizen
- 18 years of age by election day
- a resident of the state and county at least 30 days prior to the election
- adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction not to have been lacking the capacity to understand the act of voting, not serving a sentence, or is on parole or probation as a result of, a indictable offense under the laws of this or another state or of the United States.
What are the hours the polls are open?
The polls are open 6 a.m.to 8 p.m.
Where do I vote?
You must contact the Commissioner of Registration and they can provide you with that information.
Am I registered to vote?
You may call the Commissioner of Registration to verify your registration status.
Why are voters asked to sign affidavits?
A voter may be asked to sign an affirmation form at the polls that he/she still resides at the residence on the registration list if his/her page is tagged (due to undeliverable mail) returned to the County Commissioner of Registration.
A voter may need to sign an affidavit if he or she is challenged by a poll worker or challenger who believes the person is not eligible to vote (usually because of residency).
Any voter who has moved within a county, and has not corrected their voter records, is eligible to vote in their new municipality by provisional ballot at the polling place. To vote with this ballot, you need to complete an affirmation form.
How can I get an vote by mail ballot on election day?
Vote by mail ballots are available on election day, under emergency circumstances. Usually, if a voter becomes ill on election day or the night before, an authorized messenger can obtain a vote by mail ballot by court order.
How can I get an vote by mail ballot?
You must apply to the County Clerk at any time not less than 7 days prior to the election if you desire to vote by mail. If you fail to apply in writing for a vote by mail ballot within the 7 day time frame you may apply in person, or by authorized messenger for sick or confined voter only to the county clerk on any day up to 3:00 p.m. the day before the election.
When must I send my vote by mail ballot in?
Your vote by mail ballot must be RECEIVED by the County Board of Elections no later then 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Can my vote by mail ballot be postmarked on election day?
No, vote by mail ballots must be received by the County Board of Election by 8 p.m. on Election day.
I got an vote by mail ballot and my trip was canceled – what do I do now?
You may NOT on the machine vote at the polls if you received a vote by mail ballot, however you will be allowed to vote by provisional ballot on election day at the polls.
When do the boards of election begin counting the vote by mail ballots?
Vote by mail ballots are counted on election day.
Can a candidate distribute flyers without a “paid for by” statement?
It depends on whether the candidate comes under the jurisdiction of the Election Law Enforcement Commission. This is a separate State office, the number is 609-292-8700.
How close (or far) from the polls can electioneering activity take place?
Electioneering, consisting of signs, buttons, literature, etc., can take place freely as long the activity is at least 100 feet from the outside entrance to the polling place. (usually where the flag flies) Exit polling by the media is not considered electioneering.
Can a candidate be at the polls without a challenger badge?
Candidates whose names are on the allot are automatically challengers and as such are allowed to be present at the polls.
Can a candidate’s wife/husband/brother/sister/mother/etc., work at the polls?
Not where their family is a candidate.
I was refused the right to vote at the polls because (you name it). Where can I appeal?
I moved – if you moved within the same county, go to the polling place serving your new residence. You can call the County Board of Elections at 908-527-4123 or Municipal Clerk for the location. You will be permitted to vote a “provisional” paper ballot.
If you moved across county lines more than one month ago, you had to register in your new county of residence. You cannot vote in your old county. If you moved across the county lines within 30 days you can vote at your old polling place in your former county. If you choose to go back, tell the poll clerk you need to fill out the affidavit to vote.
My page was tagged/my sample ballot was returned undeliverable – if you reside at the same address of which you were registered, you may vote by completing an affirmation form of residency at the polls. You then vote in the machine.
My page was missing – you should have been given a “provisional” paper ballot to vote for this election.
I was challenged and the board workers voted not to let me vote – you must go to the Union County Board of Elections, 271 North Broad Street, Elizabeth. NJ.
There is (you name it) going on at the polls and I think it is illegal.
You should report this to the Union County Board of Elections, 908-527-4123.
I just broke my leg, was admitted to the hospital, had a baby, broke out with measles, etc. and can’t get to the polls. How can I vote?
If you become sick or confined on election day, an authorized messenger, either a family member or registered voter of the county, must get a court order to obtain a vote by mail ballot from the county clerk.
The authorized messenger should bring to the Union County Board of Elections a completed vote by mail ballot application. The authorized messenger shall be a family member or a registered voter of the county in which the application is made and shall place his signature on the application in the space so provided in the presence of the County Clerk or his designee.
This can be obtained from the County Clerk. If a ballot is issued for you please remember that the completed ballot must be delivered to the County Board of Elections before 8 p.m. on election day or it will not be counted.
They’re making people vote on paper ballots instead of the voting machine. Is this illegal?
If your voting machine becomes inoperable, the law allows voters to cast “emergency paper ballot” until the voting machine is repaired. Certain voters must also vote by provisional ballot, if they are registered in the county and moved within the county without notifying the election officials before election day, or if there is a physical problem at the polling place.
There is disruptive activity (fights, excessive challenging, campaigning, etc) in my polling place. What do I do?
Report this activity to the Union County Board of Elections, 908-527-4123.
Do only registered voters serve on juries?
That used to be true, but today any licensed driver over the age of 18 can also be called for jury duty.
If I vote, do I have to register as a Democrat or a Republican?
That’s only true if you want to vote in either party’s primary (nomination election). If you don’t vote in a primary, however, you have no voice in deciding who will be on the ballot.
Who is the chief election officials in the state of New Jersey?
The Secretary of State is the Chief Election Official in the State of New Jersey.
How many days before an election can I change my party affiliation?
You can change your party affiliation up to 50 days before a primary election and still vote in that primary election.
Can I declare my party affiliation at the polls?
You can declare your party affiliation at the polls when you go to vote in your first Primary Election. After that, you may change your party affiliation 50 days before a primary election.
When is the petition filing deadline for primary election candidates?
The petition filing deadline for Primary Election candidates is 4:00 p.m. on the 57th day before the Primary Election.
When is the petition filing deadline for general election candidates?
The petition filing deadline for General Election candidates is 4:00 p.m. on the day of the Primary Election.