Tag Archives: vote by mail

Why I Vote

The following is written by Liz Huang, LWVNJ intern.

Liz HuangGrowing up, I remember learning about the extensive history of voting in the United States in my classes, and watching the adults around me vote in the general and primary elections. However, one of my most vivid voting memories was the first time I actively contributed to the voting process. At the time, I was only a sophomore in high school.

In 2008, through a United States history class I was taking, my classmates and I became student volunteers for the local League of Women Voters of New Jersey in our town. I was almost 16 years old, and I went to senior classrooms with my peers to help senior high school students complete their Voter Registration forms. Our goal was to register as many seniors at our high school to vote for the 2008 Presidential Election that was just around the corner. It was a great experience being able to engage and contribute to the overall voting process, especially during a Presidential Election year.

When I turned 18 years old in the end of 2010, I had just missed Election Day by a few weeks. It was disappointing, but in the grand scheme of things, it was eye opening to realize that I would be able to cast my vote in all future elections beginning in 2011.

I vote because I want to assert what I believe in and make a difference. Voting allows me to express my personal opinion on issues that affect everyone: education, health services, environmental issues, etc.

I highly encourage every individual to exercise their right to vote! And as often as they can. There are plenty of nonpartisan resources available to engage and empower voters to make informed decisions. If you cannot vote in person on an Election Day, there is always the option to vote via a “Vote by Mail Application.” Every opinion- younger and older generations alike- matters. Go out there and let your voice be heard. Make a difference.

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Hurricane Sandy and the Election

The election will be held Tuesday, November 6, as planned. Polls are open from 6 am – 8 pm.

Displaced voters and first responders have multiple options to make voting easier.

1. Vote early at your County Clerk’s Office:

All County Clerk’s offices are mandated to remain open, at a minimum, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm today, Sunday November 4. They will also be open tomorrow, Monday, November 5. Voters are encouraged to take advantage of the extended hours offered at their County Clerk’s office.

Voters may go in person to their County Clerk and vote using a “Vote by Mail” ballot. You will be handed that ballot right there at the office and be able to fill it out in person. The deadline to vote in person using a “vote by mail” ballot at your county clerk office is Monday, November 5, 3 pm.

FIND YOUR COUNTY CLERK (Please Note: The Ocean County Clerk information listed on that link is incorrect. Because of the storm they are located in the Ocean County Administration Building, Rm 116, 101 Hooper Ave, Toms River, NJ. They also have a second location at 179 S. Main Street, Stafford, NJ.)

2. NEW – Apply for and receive a “Vote by Mail” ballot electronically:

Read the full release from the Governor.

To vote electronically, displaced voters may submit a mail-in ballot application either by e-mail or fax to their county clerk. Once an application is approved, the clerk will electronically send a ballot to the voter by either fax or e-mail in accordance to the voter’s preference. Voters must return their electronic ballot – by fax or email – no later than November 6, 2012, at 8 p.m.

Voters can download a mail-in ballot application for their county here. 

A list of county clerk websites, phone numbers and fax numbers is available here. 

The deadline for county clerks to receive mail-in ballots has been extended to November 19, 2012, for any ballot postmarked on or before November 5, 2012. Mail-in ballots postmarked later than November 5 will not be accepted.

3. NEW – Vote on Tuesday in a different polling place using a provisional ballot:

Directives issued by the state today enable displaced voters and first responders to vote by provisional ballot at any polling place in the state.

Read Directive.

This means if you are a registered voter in the state of NJ and you are staying in a different part of the state because of the storm you may go to a near by polling place on Tuesday and vote there using a provisional ballot.

Polling Places

Some polling places will be relocated.  A directive issued yesterday requires that all polling place changes are posted on county websites and the League of Women Voters of New Jersey is notified. We will know every polling place change and post them by county on our homepage. You may also call us at 1-800-792-VOTE(8683) with questions about your polling place. 

Mobile Polling Place Locator: To find your polling place text WHERE to 877877.

According to state officials, it will be updated every two hours. It may not reflect changes yet, so keep checking back.

Additionally, if your polling place has been relocated, there will be notification posted at your original polling place directing you to the relocated polling place. State officials have announced that they will deploy military vehicles to serve as polling places in some areas.

If you have any questions call the League of Women Voters of New Jersey’s toll-free voter assistance hotline, 1-800-792-VOTE(8683). We have extended our hours to help more voters and we are in the office today, Sunday, from 9 am – 4 pm. Our hours on Monday are 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. On election day, Tuesday, November 6, we staff the hotline all day while the polls are open (6 am – 8 pm).

You may also reach us through Facebook  at any time.

The League of Women Voters of New Jersey is doing everything possible to make sure NJ  voters are able to cast a ballot.

Thank you and stay safe.

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!

Deadlines Approaching for November General Election

Voter Registration WeekendElection Day is coming up!  New Jersey’s General Election will take place on November 8, 2011. This year, all 120 seats in the New Jersey Senate and Assembly are up for election.  The results of this very important election will determine fiscal and policy decisions that will impact our communities for years. It is crucial that every eligible resident registers and votes on November 8.  The polls will be open from 6 am – 8 pm.

The deadline to register to vote or to submit a change of name or address for the November 8 election is Tuesday, October 18. The registration form is available on the League of Women Voters of New Jersey’s website, www.lwvnj.org. If you are not sure if you are registered you can look up that information on the New Jersey Division of Elections website, www.njelections.org.

In New Jersey, any voter can vote by mail, using a “Vote by Mail” ballot (formerly absentee ballot) in any election, but the deadlines for applying are quickly approaching. Applications can be found on the League of Women Voters of New Jersey website, www.lwvnj.org. If you choose to send your application by mail, it must be received by your County Clerk no later than Tuesday, November 1. There is a 3 p.m. deadline on November 7 to apply for a “Vote by Mail” ballot in person at the County Clerk’s office.

For additional information or clarification about the November 8 General Election, go to www.lwvnj.org or call the League of Women Voters of New Jersey’s toll free voter information line, 1-800- 792-VOTE (8683).

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!

LWVNJ Education Fund Prepares Voters for November 2 General Election with Nonpartisan Ballot Question Analysis and Congressional Voters’ Guide

In an effort to encourage informed participation in the upcoming General Election, the League of Women Voters of New Jersey Education Fund has posted an analysis of the statewide public question that will appear on the November 2 ballot. The League also asked ten federal policy questions to all New Jersey candidates running for U.S. House of Representatives and posted candidates’ responses on the website.

The League’s analysis of the ballot question includes an easier to read interpretation of the question and reasons one might vote yes and one might vote no.  The public question asks for voters to approve a constitutional amendment that would dedicate certain worker benefit funds (disability, unemployment, etc) to be used only for the purpose for which they are collected, prohibiting the State from transferring, borrowing, or appropriating these specific funds. The League provides two reasons a voter might vote yes, including “passage will require that worker benefit funds be used for the purpose for which they are collected” and two reasons a voter may vote no, including “passage will limit the ability of the Legislature to make decisions based on the State’s financial needs at any given time”. The League takes no position on this public question.

“This information gives voters a fighting chance once they’re in the voting booth.  Often ballot questions are complicated and it is apparent from the number of phone calls we are receiving that New Jersey voters need more information before they can decide how to vote,” said Anne Ruach Nicolas, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey. “Using our nonpartisan informational tools, voters can research the public question and informatively cast a vote which best represents their own views and positions.”

Another nonpartisan informational tool available to aid voters in making informed decisions is the 2010 Congressional Voters’ Guide. The League asked ten specific policy questions, on topics such as education funding, cap and trade, immigration, campaign finance reform, and health care reform, and posted the candidates’ responses on www.lwvnj.org.

In addition to providing these online resources, and offering a toll free hotline to assist the public with voting information, 1-800-792-VOTE, the League of Women Voters of New Jersey is also sponsoring and/or moderating 11 congressional debates throughout New Jersey’s congressional districts. The League also held almost 20 voter registration drives throughout the state in one weekend in September, and countless other registration drives during the fall election season to register voters for the November 2 General Election.

Many New Jersey voters have been calling the League’s toll free hotline, 1-800-792-VOTE, requesting information about the public question, asking about voter registration and the application process for voting by mail, and seeking information about their candidates. The League of Women Voters is an excellent resource for voters because of its strict nonpartisan stance and educational mission.