NEW JERSEY: VOTE BY MAIL FOR SECURE ELECTIONS IN 2020

A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR NEW JERSEY ELECTIONS OFFICIALS

ABOUT THIS RESOURCE

Sightline’s state-by-state guides are designed to give local election officials and legislators the information they need to identify and take the most important steps to get ready for November. Each set of state-specific resources includes best practices and established models from around the country, including practical nuts and bolts advice for clerks, materials from election administrators with experience conducting all mail elections, and information about vendors and costs.

How New Jersey is prepared for Vote By Mail

  • Ballot tracking required by state law.
  • Allows any voter to request an absentee ballot.
  • Offers voters a “single sign-up” option to permanently vote by mail.
  • Uses voters’ signatures to verify ballots.
  • Allows county clerks to start processing ballots sufficiently early.
  • Automatically registers voters and updates their address.

RECOMMENDED STEPS FOR SECURE ELECTIONS

Within each section, recommendations are arranged roughly in order of importance and ease of implementation.

For Local Election Officials
  • Coordinate with USPS.
  • Design ballots and envelopes that are easy to use.
  • Implement robust signature verification.
  • Provide secure drop boxes.
  • Provide Election Day vote centers for in-person voting.
  • Consider using a professional printer and ballot sorter.
  • Count ballots at a secure centralized facility.
  • Include a postage-prepaid return envelope.
  • Invest in high-speed centralized equipment.
For New Jersey’s Secretary of State
  • Mail absentee application forms to all registered voters.
  • Give voters sufficient opportunity to cure signature problems.
For Lawmakers
  • Join the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).
  • Account for voters with nontraditional addresses.
  • Allow counties to accept ballots postmarked on Election Day.
  • Allow voters to request an absentee ballot online.
  • Allow voters to request replacement ballots online.
  • Allow early in-person voting options.
  • Allow community organizations to collect and deliver sealed ballots.

Download the full New Jersey action packet, with detailed information for each recommendation.

New Jersey's Grade for Vote By Mail preparedness = C-

Our grading system: We evaluated each state on 16 factors, covering access, administration efficiency, security, and infrastructure.

SEND THIS RESOURCE TO new Jersey’s secretary of state:

Tahesha Way, [email protected]

SEND THIS RESOURCE TO new jersey’s elections director:

Robert Giles, [email protected]

Contact us

We welcome your questions and feedback. Email Kristin Eberhard, director of Sightline’s Democracy research program. Press inquiries: Anna Fahey.

Photos: Vote By Mail in New Jersey. Shutterstock.