Are you registered to vote this year?
The recent national political conventions are a good reminder to check if you are registered to vote in November.
The deadline to register is Oct. 16, or 21 days before the Nov. 6 general election.
Verona Municipal Clerk Susan Neale said several 18-year-old voters have already stopped in to pick up their registration forms.
“A lot of college students have been coming in to pick up their vote-by-mail ballots,” said Neale. “When we get closer to October a lot of students who live away realize they need their forms.”
Some people who go away during the winter months to warmer climates have also been picking up their vote-by-mail ballots, but more are expected as the election draws nearer.
The vote-by-mail ballot needs to be in the hands of the Essex County Clerk no later than seven days prior to the election, she said. If residents know they will be away on Election Day, voters can still go down to the clerk's office and vote in person before the election.
Voter registration forms need to go to the Essex County Commissioner of Registration.
“I recommend you don't mail them together because if the vote by mail ballot is processed first you will come up as not a registered voter,” said Neale. “I recommend you send the voter registration two weeks ahead of the vote by mail so they don't cross."
One thing to keep in mind, she said is if someone is turning 18 after the voter registration deadline but before the November election, they can still register to vote by the deadline.
“If you will be 18 before the election you can still sign up, you just have to give your birthdate,” she said. “If the election is Nov. 6 and you turn 18 on Nov. 1, you can still send in the registration form.”
However, New Jersey does not have same-day registration. People who move in from out of state come in on Election Day and want to register, you cannot do that in New Jersey, she said.
There is still plenty of time to register to vote and many ways to do it. You can:
- Pick up a form at the township clerk's office at town hall.
- Download the forms online.
- Check the box to register when you renew your driver’s license and registration through the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.
- Pick one up at the Essex County Clerk's office.
The Township of Cedar Grove will have extended office hours until 9 p.m. on Oct. 16, the voter registration deadline, said Cedar Grove Municipal Clerk Kathleen Stutz.
Questions about voting? Visit njelections.org or call (877) 658-6837.