Voting is accomplished either in person or by absentee ballot. A sample ballot is mailed to all registered voters before the primary and general elections, giving polling place and voting hours.
SCHEDULE OF ELECTIONS The GENERAL ELECTION is held the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. PRIMARY ELECTIONS are held the first Tuesday after the first Monday in June, although this date has been frequently moved by law. At this time we nominate party candidates for the general election, elect county committee members from their respective election districts, state committee members in gubernatorial years, and delegates and alternates to the national convention in Presidential years. Only Republican and Democratic parties participate in the primary. Minor party and independent candidates do not take part; however, to appear on a general election ballot they must file petitions before the primary.
MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS are held with the general election, except that municipalities with a nonpartisan form of government hold their elections generally on the second Tuesday in May. In nonpartisan Optional Municipal Law mayor-council and council-manager forms, if the original returns fail to produce majorities in the proportions required, a runoff election is held five weeks later for each office in question between the two candidates polling the biggest number of votes.
SPECIAL ELECTIONS are held for certain types of referenda when and as required.
SCHOOL ELECTIONS are held the first Tuesday in April. Regional school elections are held the first Tuesday in April also. These are nonpartisan elections to elect boards of education and approve proposed school budgets. Failure to pass a school budget requires that the budget be established by the municipal governing body. Most large municipalities do not elect boards of education; mayors appoint them and school budgets are determined by boards of school estimate, or, in some cases, submitted to the voters for approval.
ABSENTEE VOTING A voter must apply for an absentee ballot not less than 7 days before the election in person or by mail to the county clerk for primary and general elections; school district clerk, for school elections. Deadline may be waived for military personnel. Absentee ballots must reach the county election board or school board office by the time the polls close on election day.
A registered voter may apply for a civilian absentee ballot if he is to be out of the state on election day or is physically incapacitated (including blindness or pregnancy) or is observing a religious holiday or is a student away at school.
A military service ballot may be used if the voter is qualified to vote, whether registered or not, and is (1) a person in the military service or his spouse or dependent; (2) a patient in a veteran's hospital; or (3) a civilian attached to or serving with the-armed forces out of the state or his spouse or dependent residing with or accompanying him. A friend or relative may make application for the serviceman by applying to the clerk in the serviceman's county. Ballot and instructions aremailed to the voter. A military ballot does not automatically register the person as a registered voter. The serviceman or woman must register on return from service.
A registered voter moving from the state or to another county may use an absentee presidential ballot to vote at his former address for President and Vice-President only, if unable to establish residence requirements at his new address in time for the election.
A new resident of New Jersey, meeting all requirements for voting except the six-month residence by the time of the election, may use a new resident's presidential ballot to vote only for President and VicePresident; file an affidavit of residence with the county or municipal election officials at least 40 days prior to election, voter receives an application for the ballot at that time. Subsequent elections require registration.
ELECTION MACHINERY District board of elections--consists of 4 members (2 Democrats and 2 Republicans) for each election district; appointed by county board of elections upon recommendation of the county committee members. Term of office is one year. Its function is to conduct the elections at the polling place. The election districts in a municipality are established by county boards of elections in first class counties and the governing bodies of municipalities in othercounties. The number of voters in a district is to range from 350 to 550, although the law permits more where voting machinesare used. (If a municipality is subdivided into wards from which members of the governing body are elected, the ward lines may be changed only by a commission composed of two members from each of the major parties who are appointed by the municipality's mayor.)
County board of elections--consists of 2 Republicans and 2 Democrats appointed by the Governor upon nomination by party officials. Term of office is two years. Its function is to setup machinery for voting. It it responsible for the administration of the elections and has authority to settle controversial questions connected with elections. School board of elections--is appointed by the board of education of each school voting district.
Recount of votes--when any candidate, or ten voters, at any election have reason to believe that an error has been made in counting the vote or declaring the vote, they may apply to a judge of the superior court assigned to the county, or to a judge of the county court for a recount of the votes.