How to Vote in New Jersey's 2023 Elections

Posted on 08/03/23 by Andrew Soergel, Elissa Chudwin

En español | New Jersey allows any registered voter to vote by mail, and the state offers early in-person voting.

Residents of the Garden State are deciding races for seats in the state Legislature in 2023. The primary was held Tuesday, June 6, and the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Essential info:

  • Early in-person voting: You can vote early and in person at an early voting site from Saturday, Oct. 28, through Sunday, Nov. 5, for the general election.
  • Voting at the polls: Most voters won’t need to show ID to vote in person, unless their voter information cannot be verified.
Election Ballot Drop Box in Hoboken, New Jersey
A voter walks up to a ballot drop box in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

Have there been recent changes to voting in New Jersey?

Several voting laws will change in New Jersey starting in 2023. Among them:

  • Voters can use an online form to update their name and address on preexisting voter registration records.
  • Vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received no later than three days after an election, instead of six days. 
  • Unaffiliated voters need to declare party affiliation to vote in a primary election. Under the new law, you can only vote by mail in a primary if you declare before the deadline (55 days before the primary). Otherwise, you'll receive a political party affiliation form and instructions for voting in person on Election Day.
  • Mail-in voters told that they have a ballot defect will have nine days after an election to correct any issues. The previous deadline was 48 hours.

Redistricting in 2022 changed the boundaries of some of the state’s legislative and congressional districts.

How do I register to vote?

Register online, by mail or in person:

  • Online: Use the state’s voter information portal to register online. Include your date of birth and current New Jersey driver’s license or state ID number. If you do not have a driver’s license or ID issued by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, include the last four digits of your Social Security number and your signature.

The registration deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 17, for the general election.

Check if you are registered to vote through the online New Jersey Division of Elections voter search tool.

How can I get a vote-by-mail ballot?

Any registered voter can request a no-excuse vote-by-mail ballot and vote from home.

  • By mail: Download, print and complete your county’s vote-by-mail application. Mail it to your county clerk with proper postage. Or contact your clerk and request an application be mailed to you. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is Tuesday, Oct. 31, for the general election.

You also may request that an authorized messenger pick up your vote-by-mail ballot. Include the authorized messenger’s name at the bottom of your application. The authorized messenger must either be a family member or a registered voter in your county. No one can be an authorized messenger for more than three voters per election unless they’re immediate family living in one household.

How do I return my mail ballot during an election?

To return your completed ballot, fill out and sign the certificate. Make sure it remains attached to the inner envelope. Place your ballot inside the inner envelope, then insert the inner envelope into your mailing envelope. Some county elections officials may require postage on your mailing envelope. Contact your county clerk for more information.

Return your vote-by-mail ballot by mail or in person:

A vote-by-mail ballot cannot be returned to your polling place. Track the status of your ballot through the Track My Ballot portal.

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Yes, you can vote early at a polling place designated by your county from Saturday, Oct. 28, through Sunday, Nov. 5, for the general election.

More information is available on the secretary of state’s website.

What do I need to know about voting at the polls on Election Day?

You may vote as long as you’re in line before the polls close. Use the state's voter information portal to find a polling place near you.

Do I need identification to vote?

Most voters won’t need identification to vote in person. If your voter information cannot be verified, you may be asked to show ID at the polls or provide a copy of your ID to vote by mail. 

Without an ID, you may be able to cast a provisional paper ballot.

Acceptable forms of ID include your New Jersey’s driver’s license, a U.S. military ID or student ID. You also may provide another document proving your name and address, such as a bank statement or utility bill.

Editor’s note: This guide, originally published on Nov. 24, 2021, was updated on Aug. 3 2023, with information about voting in the upcoming elections.

Also of Interest

This story is provided by AARP New Jersey. Visit the AARP New Jersey page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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