NJ election dates: Primary day, early voting and more to know

New Jersey Elections
people vote in an election

NEW JERSEY — Heads-up, New Jersey residents: The Garden State’s primary election is less than a month away and the deadline to register to vote is Tuesday.

The outcome of primary day will decide who runs on the Democratic, Republican, and third-party tickets for major races, including for governor, in the November general election.

Four Republicans have declared their candidacy to oust Democrat incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy.

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Under state law, anyone who wishes to vote in the primary must be registered with a political party to cast a ballot. However, anyone unaffiliated with a political party can still vote by selecting that party at their polling site on primary day.

Here’s a breakdown of key dates and deadlines to know before primary day and Election Day.

Voter registration for primary

The deadline to register to vote in New Jersey’s primary is Tuesday, May 18. 

You can register online using a valid driver’s license or a non-driver identification card or by using your social security number along with a touch-screen-capable device that can provide a digital signature.

To check whether you’re registered to vote, click here.

The deadline to change your party affiliation for the primary was April 14. 

Early voting for NJ primary

There is no early voting period for this year’s primary election. While New Jersey recently passed a law allowing early voting, it does not go into effect until the November general election. The first early voting period for New Jersey’s primary elections will take place in 2022.

Primary day

Primary elections will be held on Tuesday, June 8. Registered voters can cast their ballot at their designated polling site from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Voter registration for general election

The deadline to register to vote in New Jersey’s general election is Tuesday, Oct. 12.

You can register online using a valid driver’s license or a non-driver identification card or by using your social security number along with a touch-screen-capable device that can provide a digital signature.

You also can print your county-specific registration application and mail it to your county commissioner of registration or superintendent of elections before Tuesday, Oct. 12.

To check whether you’re registered to vote, click here.

Early voting for NJ general election

Under the law signed in March, counties are required to open polling sites for in-person early voting 10 days before a general election. The early voting period will end the Sunday before Election Day.

For the 2021 general election, early voting is expected to be held from Saturday, Oct. 23 through Sunday, Oct. 31, however, the state Division of Elections has not officially released those dates.  

Election Day

Election Day will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 2. 

Vote-by-mail information

Primary: 

Unlike last year, Gov. Phil Murphy recently announced primary day will be conducted mostly in-person as more residents get vaccinated against COVID-19. However, you can request a vote-by-mail ballot. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Download, print and fill out a paper application. Then, mail it or deliver it in person to your county clerk’s office. Mailed applications must arrive at your county clerk’s office by Tuesday, June 1.
  • Apply in person at your county clerk’s office by 3 p.m. on Monday June 7.
  • Completed vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked on or before 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8 and received by your county board of elections on or before Monday, June 14.
  • You can also deposit your completed vote-by-mail ballot inside a secure ballot dropbox or deliver it in person to your county board of elections office by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8.
  • Important note: Unlike the last primary day, voters cannot return vote-by-mail ballots at their polling place.
  • You can track your ballot via the state’s website.

General election:

  • The deadline to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot via mail is Tuesday, Oct. 26.
  • You can apply in person at your county clerk’s office by 3 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 1.
  • Completed vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked on or before 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 2 and received by your county board of elections on or before Monday, Nov. 8.
  • You can also deposit your completed vote-by-mail ballot inside a secure county ballot dropbox or deliver it in person to your county board of elections office by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 2.
  • Important note: Unlike the last primary day, voters cannot return vote-by-mail ballots at their polling place.
  • You can track your ballot via the state’s website.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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