Registering to Vote in NJ After A Criminal Conviction

You can register to vote if…

  • You are a U.S. citizen living in New Jersey
  • You are at least 18 years old.
  • You have been living in your present county for at least 30 days before the election.
  • You are not in prison, on probation or on parole for a felony conviction.

NOTE: If you’re serving time for a misdemeanor or civil matter you can still vote. You have the right to register and to vote from jail using a mail-in ballot. To register, your application must be received at least 21 days before the election.

How to register to vote

  1. Obtain a Voter Registration form from:

  2. Fill out the entire Voter Registration form.

  3. Mail it to the address on the form (no stamp necessary) or deliver it in person to your county voter registration office.

You must provide the following information on the voter registration form:
  • Your name and address. You must have been living in your county for 30 days before election day to vote.
  • Your date of birth.
  • Your old address, if you are changing your address.
  • A signature affirming that you are not on parole, probation or serving a sentence for an indictable offense.

Optional information that will speed up your registration:

  • Your phone number
  • Identification with your name and current address. If you don’t provide identification when you register by mail, you will have to show it when you vote.

You can present the following forms of identification:

  • New Jersey driver’s license with photo and address
  • Photo ID
  • Bank statement
  • Social Security card
  • Utility bill or an official document addressed to you
  • School ID
  • Your release papers if they show your current address

No Address? You can write the location where you spend most of your time, such as a homeless shelter or intersection.

Already registered before your conviction? You must register again upon release. Your right to vote is restored once you complete your sentence, parole and probation. You also must register again when you change addresses. Send a change-of-address card to your county registration office when moving within New Jersey. You will have to show ID when registering in a new county, either by mail or at the polls on Election Day.

What to expect after registering

  1. Some counties mail a card confirming your registration.
  2. If your application is missing information, you will receive a letter from the county asking for more information.
  3. If you do not respond to the county’s letter, you will have to show ID when you vote.
  4. If you didn’t receive any notice in the mail, call your county election office to confirm your registration. You can get that number from 1-877- NJVOTER. You can also confirm your registration online at www.njelections.org/voting-information.html
  5. Shortly before an election, you will receive a sample ballot in the mail letting you know the address of your voting place. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you don’t receive a sample ballot, contact your county election office as soon as possible.

Want to vote by mail?

Get a mail-in ballot. Call your county clerk for an mail-in ballot application and one will be mailed to you. Fill it out and mail it back. You must mail it in at least seven days before the election. You may also vote in person at the County Clerk’s office using an mail-in ballot until 3 p.m. the day before the election.

First time voting after your release?

Bring identification with you. The ID can be a Social Security card, driver’s license, or document that shows your name and address, such as a utility bill or your sample ballot.

Problems with voting on Election Day?

If poll workers won’t let you vote, you can demand a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot does not count right away; your eligibility to vote must be verified first. If you want your vote to count immediately, ask to see the election judge for a court order allowing you to vote.

If you encounter any problems voting, call the Voter Hotline at 1-800-792-VOTE (8683) toll free in New Jersey.

Further Information

To obtain general information about voting:

New Jersey Division of Elections
609-292-3760
http://www.Elections.NJ.gov

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