Options Available for Voting in New Jersey
Election Day is coming up on Tuesday November 2nd, 2021!
Voters in New Jersey can vote either in person at their polling place or by mail. On this page, you can learn about these two options for how to cast your ballot in the state.
How to Vote in Person
Voters in New Jersey can vote in person at their designated polling place, located near where they are registered to vote. Click here to find your in-person polling place.
Polling locations are open from 6am to 8pm on Election Day. When voting in person, registered voters are assisted by poll workers who will ask you sign a poll book when you arrive. Your signature in the poll book verifies your identity and helps ensure that you only vote once per election.
As of now, all voters are asked to wear a face covering and observe appropriate social distancing when voting in person in this fall's general election.
How to Vote by Mail
All registered voters in New Jersey can apply to vote by mail. Voting by mail is a safe and secure way to vote, but voting by mail is relatively new for many New Jersey voters. Here’s what to expect and how you can make sure that your vote by mail ballot is counted.
All registered voters in New Jersey can apply to vote by mail.
- You should complete a Vote-by-Mail Application for the county where you are registered to vote. Forms can be downloaded from the New Jersey Division of Elections Vote-by-Mail website.
- You should print and fill in this form and mail it back to your County Clerk's office no later than 7 days before the upcoming election (but the sooner the better!). The address for your County Clerk is listed of the second page of your Vote-by-Mail application--if you print the application form front and back on a single sheet of paper, you can fold and tape the application to send it in without an envelope. Postage is required.
You will receive your vote by mail ballot in the mail--you need to complete it and place it in the mail to return it no later than Election Day in order for it to be counted.
When your ballot arrives, it will include printed instructions for how to complete it--follow these instructions closely!
Here’s the basics for how to successfully fill out your mail-in ballot:
- Your vote-by-mail ballot will arrive in an envelope marked as an “Official Mail-In Ballot” from your county election official. You’ll find the following in the envelope from your county election official:
- a smaller envelope that has a large vote certification flap
- a larger envelope with prepaid postage and your county election election official address printed on it
- written instructions for how to complete and return your ballot
- Complete your ballot by clearly marking your choices. Fully darken the circles by your selections using blue or black ink.
- Place your completed ballot into the smaller envelope. Seal this envelope with your completed ballot inside.
- The envelope you place your ballot in has a large flap on it that asks you to provide your name and address and signature. Complete this information and sign clearly and legibly. This flap is your certificate confirming that you are the person casting your vote.
- Your county election officials will compare the signature and information on this envelope to your signature and information contained in the statewide voter registration database, confirming your identity before they count your ballot.
- If someone else is assisting you in completing your ballot, they will also need to fill in their name, address and signature on this flap on the lines provided.
- Place this sealed smaller envelope with your name, address and signature included on the flap into the larger postage paid envelope that is addressed to your county election official. Your name on the smaller envelope should be facing the front so it is visible in the larger envelope. Once this smaller envelope is inside, seal the larger envelope.
- If someone else is mailing or transporting your ballot on your behalf, they will need to fill out their information on this larger envelope after you have sealed it.
Now, you’ve completed your ballot and you’re ready to return it to your county election officials.
There are three options for how you can return your vote-by-mail ballot this fall. You must return your ballot one of these three ways no later than Election Day!
(1) Mail your ballot back in to your county election official no later than Election Day.
By following the steps above, your completed ballot is sealed inside the larger postage paid envelope that is already addressed to your county election official. You can send this in by mail.
All ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received by your county election officials no later than 6 days after Election Day in order to be counted. Mail your ballot back in early to ensure it is received in time!
(2) Return your ballot at a secure ballot drop box location in the county where you are registered by 8pm on Election Day.
Each county is required to provide secure drop box locations across their county. These ballot drop boxes have 24/7 video surveillance ensuring that drop boxes remain secure and ballots are not tampered with. Voters should return their ballots to one of these secure drop boxes in the county where they are registered
Click here to find secure ballot drop boxes in the county where you are registered where you can return your mail-in ballot
(3) Return your ballot at your County Board of Elections office by 8pm on Election Day.
You can return your completed and sealed ballot in person at your County Board of Elections office. You need to return your mail-in ballot to the County Board of Elections in the county where you are registered.
Click here to find your Board of Elections Office where you can return your mail-in ballot in person
You can check to see the exact date your ballot was mailed out by creating an account on the New Jersey Voter Registration System and clicking Mail-In Ballot History in your account.
You can track the status of your mail-in ballot through the New Jersey Division of Elections website by creating a personal New Jersey Voter Registration System account here.
Once you create your account and log in, you'll see information about your polling location as well as tabs for your Election History and your Mail-In Ballot History. Click Mail-In Ballot History to see when your ballot has been mailed out, when the county received your completed ballot and your ballot’s status (accepted or rejected). Checking your ballot’s status will reassure you that your vote has been counted!
Your county election officials review all mail-in ballots that they receive before they are counted. By checking all mail-in ballots before they are counted, your county election officials are able to ensure that each individual voter in New Jersey votes only once and that the ballots counted have not been tampered with. These measures guard the security of our vote-by-mail ballots.
County election officials may reject ballots under the following circumstances:
- the smaller envelope containing your ballot is not sealed or the seal has been tampered with
- the seal on the larger envelope has been tampered with
- the information and signature you have provided on your voter certificate on the smaller envelope does not match your information and signature in the statewide voter registration database
You can check if your ballot has been rejected by creating an account on the New Jersey Voter Registration System and clicking “Mail-In Ballot History” in your account. You will also be notified by your county election officials if your ballot has been rejected because of a missing signature or a signature discrepancy.
If your ballot is rejected because of a signature discrepancy, your county Board of Elections must notify you by mail, email or phone about your rejected ballot. This contact will include instructions for how to complete a “cure form” to correct the issue with your ballot.
- You can return this cure form to your county election officials by mail, email, fax or in person.
- This cure form does not require you to provide a hard copy of identification document, but you may be asked to provide your NJ driver’s license number, non-driver identification number or the last four digits of your social security number to verify your identity.