Tag Archives: register to vote

Civics 101: Voting

The following blog post was written by Vishali Gandhi, LWVNJ summer intern.

The United States was founded upon principles of democratic government and freedoms, among them the right to vote for representatives in government. However, voting was not always universal. Voting rights were initially reserved for only white, property-owning males, but as the country grew and progressed, suffrage (the right to vote) expanded to include non-land owners, people of color, and women. While requirements to register differ according to state, in order to vote in New Jersey you must be a citizen of the U.S., 18 years of age by the time of the election, a resident of NJ for at least 30 days prior to the election, and you cannot be serving time in jail or on probation or parole for a felony.

In order to register to vote, you must complete a Voter Application form and either mail it or hand it in to either the Commissioner of Registration or Superintendent of EVotelections, depending on your county. You can check to see if you are registered and where you are registered through the Division of Elections website, or by calling your county’s Commissioner of Registration or Superintendent of Elections. You must register to vote at least 21 days before the date of the election in order to participate in that election.

General elections, including elections for the President, Governor, members of Congress, state legislators, and some county and municipal officials, are scheduled for the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November during a year in which an election is due. Primary elections, during which parties nominate a candidate to run during the general election, are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in June. New Jersey has closed primary elections, meaning that only voters who have registered with a party may vote in that party’s primary election (party affiliation can be declared when initially registering to vote on the Voter Registration form or can be declared or changed by filling out a Party Affiliation Change form). Municipal elections are generally held with the General Elections. However, some municipalities hold nonpartisan elections (in which officials do not affiliate with a particular party) on the second Tuesday in May.

The process of voting is relatively simple: once you enter the voting booth, you will see a screen on which there are options for each position that must be filled (you will receive a sample ballot in the mail before the election so you can familiarize yourself with the layout of the ballot beforehand). Before submitting your ballot with your choices, you can change your decision as many times as you like. Once the ballot has been submitted, however, it is final and cannot be changed. If you have any questions or concerns, poll workers are available to aid in the process.

VP of Advocacy Nancy Hedinger answers voter questions through hotline

LWVNJ VP of Advocacy Nancy Hedinger answers voter questions

In addition, you can call the League of Women Voters of NJ at 1-800-792-VOTE (8683) or contact@lwvnj.org with any questions, concerns, or comments. Lines at polling places are known to get very long, especially during particularly important elections such as general elections for the Governor or President. By law, if you are in line at your polling place when the polls close, you have a right to vote. In New Jersey, polls are open from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

If there is trouble with your registration, you may be asked to fill out a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot is a paper ballot that is administered in the following cases:

  • If your registration information is missing or is not complete in the poll book
  • If you moved from your registered address to another one in the same county and did not re-register at your new address
  • If 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 your ID on Election Day (for your provisional ballot to be counted, you have until the close of business on the second day after the election to provide your county elections officials with the required ID information)
  • If you requested a vote-by-mail ballot but you never received it

Provisional ballots are counted only after they have been verified by the county’s Board of Elections.

Voting is a fundamental right and is vital for sustaining a democratic system, so it is very important to be aware of your rights when you go to vote. For first-time voters, familiarizing yourself with the ballot as well as knowing what to expect can be very helpful. The League of Women Voters of New Jersey has a wealth of information on voting rights, important dates and upcoming events, as well as a comprehensive “Frequently Asked Questions” page to help keep you informed.

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Why I Vote

The following is a guest post written by former LWVNJ intern, Jasmine Teague.

It was 2008 and I was so excited about the opportunity to vote for the first time in a presidential election. I was a little unsure about the procedures and what the experience would be like, as I walked onto the line to cast my vote. I knew for sure that this was an important part of history that I was partaking in and that I was proud to be a part of it. As I walked up to the line, I reflected on the fact that I am an African America female, both characteristics making it impossible to vote in previous years. I felt a sense of pride representing those who came before me to cast my ballot.

On this hot day, the line was very long and people were sweating but still determined to vote, anyway. As people stood waiting, they eventually began to talk casually. I made small talk with man standing next to me, who had American buttons and pins all over his shirt. He was so excited to tell me that he was a new citizen of the U.S.A. and this will be his first time voting. It was so nice to see such a melting pot of people. Suddenly in the back of me I heard an argument break out, discussing civil unions. The arguing eventually died down, but it added an element of excitement to the experience.

After walking out of the polls, I realized how strongly those people felt about their issue. More people should have a passionate stance on an issue. If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything. I was proud to be among the many voting and taking a stand for what I believe in.

Voting for me is something that should be a top priority. Visit the League of Women Voters of New Jersey’s website for more information on voting and how you can register to vote.

Why I Vote.

This is a guest post written by former LWVNJ intern, Christine Kaufman.

Why I Vote.

Voting is an untouchable privilege to millions of people around the world.  Just this year Egyptians finally got to vote in a presidential election that did not already have a clear cut winner.  70 year old Nadia Fahmy lined up with fellow Egyptian citizens, some who waited four hours, so she could vote for the first time in her life. Although some debate the fairness of our elections in the U.S., we are quite blessed to have the right to vote.  Americans spend so much time dwelling on what we do not have and forget to utilize the rights we were born with.

This is the first year I will be old enough to vote in a presidential election.  Unfortunately, I was born a few months late and was only 17 during the 2008 election.  In 2010, only 55.6% of eligible NJ citizens were registered to vote. Could it be that almost half of our population does not see the importance in voting?  Some of my friends would see that number and agree, everyone only has one vote and that one vote will not make much of a difference.  But what if everyone took their vote seriously?  If all of those non-believers came together and voted, they could easily change the outcome of any election.

I vote because I believe you cannot just sit back and complain about the government if you do not attempt to influence it.  I vote because this is the first year my younger brother is old enough to vote and I want to set a good example.  I vote because my father spends hours upon hours educating himself on current events since he takes his vote seriously.  I vote because my mother votes and because her mother had to earn the right to vote.  So let us all start taking our votes seriously.  Visit our website for more information on voting and how you can register to vote.

Everything You Need to Vote!

This is a guest post written by Emily Garland, League of Women Voters of New Jersey intern.

The following is the first of a series of blog posts titled “Why Do I Vote?” In the series, different League members, myself included, explain why they vote. It is our hope that through reading the blog posts of the civically engaged, others will want to follow suit.

One of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey‘s goals is to expand voter participation. To expand participation, we try to make it as easy and accessible as possible. If this series has inspired even one person to register to vote, we can say it was successful. But in all honesty, we definitely want more than just one person to be inspired to get to the polls on November 6th. So, if you want to vote but don’t know where to start, here are some links that can help get you started!

Here is a page that has all the information you could need about voting in New Jersey. Questions answered include, Who can register? How do I register? Where do I register?  How do I vote by mail? When should I re-register?

To register to vote click on your county, print out the form, complete the form and mail it in.

October 16th is the last day to register to vote.

In New Jersey, you do not need a reason to apply for a vote by mail ballot! If you are going to be too far from your polling location on Election Day, or simply do not feel like leaving your house, here is a link for vote by mail applications, formally known as absentee ballots. You simply click on your county, print out the form, fill it out, and mail it in.

To receive a ballot by mail, the application must be received by your county clerk by October 30th (seven day prior to the election).

A voter may also apply in person for a vote by mail ballot to the county clerk until 3:00 pm the day before the election – November 5th.  You can find your County Clerk and Commissioner of Registration on this page.

All vote by mail ballots must be returned to the Board of Elections by 8 pm on Election Day, November 6th.

If you think you are registered, but aren’t sure you can find out here.

Now that you are registered, and planning to vote the next step is to find out your polling location.

All NJ polls are open at 6 am and close at 8 pm. If you are in line at the polling location at 8 pm, you still have the right to vote.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey and the League of Women Voters of New Jersey has created a voting rights card that lists all your voting rights.

Of course, if you still have questions you can call the League of Women Voters of New Jersey’s Voter Assistance Hotline at 1-800-792-VOTE (8683)

Stay tuned for another post tomorrow…

Register to Vote – Find a Voter Registration Drive Near You!

ImageNeed to register to vote, change your address, or request a vote by mail ballot? The League of Women Voters of New Jersey will be out in communities around the state registering voters and answering questions! The deadline to register to vote for the November General Election is October 16th.

Find a drive near you (listed by county):

Bergen

September 29 & 30- LWV of Teaneck will be registering voters at the Stop & Shop on 665 American Legion Drive from 10am-4pm.

September 30- LWV of Ridgewood will be registering voters at the Congenital Heart Defects Awareness Walk at the Duck Pond in Saddle River County Park at 9am.

September 30- LWV of Glen Rock will be registering voters at the Glen Rock street fair on Rock Road from 11am-4pm.

Burlington

September 19 – LWV of Burlington County will register voters at Burlington County Community College, Pemberton Campus, from 10 am – 2 pm and from 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm.

September 24 – LWV of Burlington County will register voters at Burlington County Community College, Mount Laurel Campus, 10 am – 12:30 pm.

Camden

September 27 – LWV of Camden will be registering voters at Camden County Community College in Blackwood from 11 am – 2 pm.

Essex

September 14-LWV of Maplewood-South Orange will be registering voters at the Irvington Family Development Center from 2pm-4pm.

September 15- LWV of Newark will be registering voters at Nat Turner Park from 10am-2pm.

September 26- LWV of Newark will be registering voters at Newark City Hall on 920 South Broad Street from 10am-2pm.

September 29- LWV of Newark will be registering voters at the Pavilion B building on 108-136 MLK Blvd. from 12pm-3pm

September 30 – LWV of Nutley will be registering voters at the Nutley Farmers Market from 9am – 1pm.

October 1- LWV of Maplewood-South Orange will be registering voters at the Maplewood Farmers Market (Springfield and Indiana Ave) from 2 pm – 7 pm

Mercer

September 15,22,29-LWV of Princeton will be registering voters every Saturday in September at the Farmers Market on Vaughn Street near the Princeton Junction train station from 9 am – 1pm.

September 21- LWV of East Windsor-Hightstown will be registering voters at the Hightstown Farmers Market from 4pm-7pm.

September 28- LWV of East Windsor-Hightstown will be registering voters at the Hightstown Farmers Market from 4pm-7pm.

September 29 – LWV of Lawrence Township will be registering voters at the Trenton Farmers Market (next to Halo Farms) from 10:30am – 2pm.

September 29 – LWV of Princeton will be registering voters at the Farmers Market at the Village Shopper on Route 205 from 9am – 1pm.

September 29- LWV of Princeton will be registering voters at McCaffery’s in the Princeton Shopping Center from 10am-4pm.

October 4- LWV Princeton will be registering voters at the Farmers Market at Hinds Plaza near the Princeton Public Library from 11am-4pm.

October 6- LWV of East Windsor-Hightstown will be registering voters at the Hightstown Harvest Fair from 10 am-4pm.

October 11-LWV of Princeton will be registering voters at the Farmers Market in Hinds Plaza from 11am-4pm.

Middlesex

September 29 – LWV of Monroe Twp. will be registering voters at the post office on Perrineville Road from 10 am – 2 pm.

Monmouth

September 10-17 – LWV of Red Bank will be registering voters at the Monmouth Mall from 10am – 9pm.

September 22– LWV Township of Ocean will be registering voters at the Township of Ocean Fall Fest at Palaia Park from 9am – 4pm.

September 27-LWV Township of Ocean will be registering voters at Ocean Township High School from 7am-3pm

Morris

September 30- LWV of Morristown will be registering voters at the Morristown Fall Festival from12pm-5pm

Ocean

September 17- LWV of Ocean County will be registering voters at the Toms River Library at 11:30 am.

September 20- LWV of Ocean County will be registering voters at Ocean County College in Toms River from 9am-4pm.

September 30- LWV of Ocean County will be registering voters at the Komen Race for the Cure from 8am-4pm

Passaic

September 25 – LWV of Wayne will be registering voters at the Stop and Shop in the Preakness Shopping Center (1220 Hamburg Turnpike) from 10am – 4pm.

September 30– LWV of Wayne will be registering voters at the Stop and Shop in the Preakness Shopping Center (1220 Hamburg Turnpike) from 10am – 4pm.

Somerset

September 29 – Somerset County MAL will be registering voters at the Bernardsville Farmers  Market located at the Bernardsville Train Station from 9am-12pm

More drives to be added soon, and don’t forget you can call the League of Women Voters of New Jersey at 1-800-792-VOTE with any of your voting questions!

Register To Vote!

Need to register to vote, change your address, or request a vote by mail ballot? The League of Women Voters of New Jersey will be out in communities around the state  registering voters and answering questions! The deadline to register to vote for the November General Election is October 18th.

Find a drive near you (listed by county):

Bergen

September 17-18 – LWV of Ridgewood will be registering voters at the Ridgewood Town Fair.

Camden

September 10 – LWV of Camden will be registering voters at the Cherry Hill Mall from 10am – 5pm.

Essex

September 10 – LWV of Montclair will be registering voters at the corner of Church Street and South Fullerton Avenue from 10am – 3pm.

September 10 – Newark MAL will be registering voters at Mildred Helms Park from 11am – 4pm.

September 17 – LWV of Livingston will be registering voters at the Welcome to Livingston Picnic (204 Hillside Ave) from 5pm – 7pm.

Mercer

September 10 – LWV of Lawrence Township will be registering voters at the Trenton Farmers’ Market (Spruce Street) from 10:30am – 2pm.

September 10 – LWV of Princeton will be registering voters at the Montgomery Farmers’ Market from 9am – 1pm.

September 10 – LWV of Princeton will be registering voters at the West Windsor Farmers’ Market from 9am – 1pm.

September 10 – LWV of Princeton will be registering voters at McCaffrey’s Market in the Princeton Shopping Center from 9am – 4pm.

September 10 – LWV of Princeton will be registering voters at the Kingston Community Picnic at the Laurel Ave School from 3pm – 7pm.

September 16 and September 23 – LWV of East Windsor-Hightstown will be registering voters at the Hightstown Farmers’ Market (Main Street/Memorial Park) from 4pm – 8pm.

October 1 – LWV of East Windsor-Hightstown will be registering voters at the Hightstown Harvest Festival (Main Street/Memorial Park) from 10am – 4pm.

Middlesex

September 10 – LWV of Monroe will be registering voters at the Monroe Township Post Office (1601 Perrineville Rd) from 10am – 2pm.

Monmouth

September 12-17 – LWV of Red Bank will be registering voters at the Monmouth Mall from 10am – 9pm.

September 24 – LWV Township of Ocean will be registering voters at the Township of Ocean Fall Fest at Palaia Park from 9am – 4pm.

Morris

September 10 – LWV Chatham-Madison will be registering voters at the Farmers Market in Chatham (train station parking lot) from 9am – 1pm.

October 2 – LWV of Morristown will be registering voters at the Morristown Festival on the Green.  Time TBA.

Passaic

September 24 – LWV of Wayne will be registering voters at the Stop and Shop in the Preakness Shopping Center (1220 Hamburg Turnpike) from 10am – 4pm.

Somerset

September 10 – Somerset County MAL will be registering voters at the Bernardsville Farmers Market from 9:30am – 12pm.

Union

September 10 – LWV of Union will be registering voters at the Cranford Post Office from 10am – 2pm.

September 10-11 – LWV of Union will be registering voters at the Seabra Store, (Galloping Hill Road, Union) from 10am – 2pm.

October 2 – LWV of Hillside will be registering voters at the Peter D. Corvelli Annual Health Fair (Hillside High School – 1085 Liberty Avenue) from 10am – 2pm.

Not sure if you are registered to vote or need to change your address? Now you can check for that information online!

More drives to be added soon, and don’t forget you can call the League of Women Voters of New Jersey at 1-800-792-VOTE with any of your voting questions!