Voting is a pillar of our democracy and an essential part of ensuring the continued protection and expansion of our civil rights and civil liberties. Casting your ballot is foundational to the lifecycle of positive change – and the prime defense against regressive action – and it is as important as ever that everyone who is eligible to vote makes their voice heard in every single election.  

With renewed attacks on civil liberties across the country, states like New Jersey must take the lead in protecting, defending, and expanding the rights we are all entitled to. Recent events, like the dismantling of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court, have emboldened extremists to weaken fundamental rights, like access to abortion.  

Voting is the best way to hold elected officials accountable for their actions – or inaction – on our most pressing challenges. We know that issues dominating the national narrative – like access to abortion, holding police accountable, and addressing the racism in our criminal legal system – are rewritten in state and local elections. When you cast your ballot this fall, you’ll be deciding the future of New Jersey for years to come.  

To cast your ballot this fall, make sure you’re eligible. 

To ensure you can vote in the upcoming election, check your registration. If you need to register, you can register online, by mailing a paper registration form to your county’s Commissioner of Registration or Superintendent of Elections, or by filling out a registration form in person at the office of your County Commissioner of Registration or Municipal Clerk. You can also register to vote in person when applying for a driver’s license or non-driver identification at a Motor Vehicle Commission agency, or when applying for services or assistance administered by certain public agencies.  

If you’re a college student who wants to vote in New Jersey elections, here’s what you need to know. As a college student, you may register to vote using your college address or your parent/guardians’ home address, depending on which district you prefer to vote in.  

The registration deadline for the upcoming general election is October 17, 2023 – 21 days before Election Day, which this year falls on November 7, 2023. And before you head to the polls, make sure you know your voting rights.  

Our vote is our power – New Jersey must expand access to the polls.  

National Voter Registration Day also reminds us of how much farther New Jersey must go to expand access to the polls. As one of the most diverse states in the country, New Jersey must be a national leader in strengthening voting rights and dismantling barriers to the ballot that disproportionally impact communities of color. The ACLU-NJ is fighting for expanded and equal access to the ballot by advocating for the passage of a slate of bills that would:  

  • Build new protections against discrimination in voting and confront barriers to voter participation by passing the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New Jersey.
  • Enact same-day voter registration. By combining registration and voting, same-day registration streamlines the voting process, eases the burden on voters, and increases voter participation. 

To strengthen New Jersey’s democracy, lawmakers must take action by passing legislation to protect and expand access to the ballot for all residents, especially people of color who experience widespread and longstanding discrimination in voting.  

As politicians across the country are trying to make it harder to vote – especially for historically disenfranchised groups – tell New Jersey lawmakers to make the Garden State a national leader in protecting and strengthening voting rights.  

Vote your values to build a stronger future for all in our state. 

New Jersey’s 2023 election will be held on Tuesday, November 7. Early voting begins Saturday, October 28 and continues through Sunday, November 5.  

And to learn more about voting your values this fall, read our 2023 Election Guide