Registration Deadline to Vote This November Is Oct. 18
The turnout in this year’s general election on Nov. 8 promises to be a big one, thanks to the wild and unpredictable 2016 presidential race. But you’ve got to be in it to win it, and if you show up at the polls in the Garden State expecting to register to vote on the spot, you’ll be out of luck. According to the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, 15 states currently allow same-day registration so that new voters may register at the polls. New Jersey, though, is not one of them.
If you want to vote this November you’ll have to register by Tuesday, Oct. 18. The same cutoff applies to existing voters who have changed their address.
To register to vote in Ocean County, you must be a U.S. citizen; at least 17 years old, although you must be 18 by election day; a resident of the county for 30 days; and not currently serving a sentence, probation or parole due to a felony conviction.
You may register in person at any of the four locations of the Ocean County Clerk’s Office, with the pertinent one to Southern Ocean County voters being the Ocean County Southern Service Center, located at 179 South Main St. in Stafford Township, which is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. excepting holidays.
Forms may also be picked up in the municipal clerks’ offices in each town or borough and mailed in to the county.
Voting by mail has become a popular option in Ocean County. Persons wishing to do so may apply for a vote-by-mail ballot by mail after downloading a form from the Ocean County Clerk’s Office online at clerk.co.ocean.nj.us/CountyClerk/ElectionServices or picking one up at the above named locations. Applications for a vote-by-mail ballot must be received at the county clerk’s office seven days before an election although voters may receive such a ballot by appearing in person at a county clerk’s office up to 3 p.m. the day before an election.
You must be a registered voter to vote by mail. If you apply for a vote-by-mail ballot, you will not be allowed to vote at your polling place on Election Day. Your signature must match the one appearing in the voter registration log. Most importantly, your ballot must arrive at the county board of elections before the close of the polls on Election Day.
The registration cutoff for Tuckerton residents wishing to vote in Sept. 27’s special election, when a $3,636,121 elementary school referendum question will be considered, has not yet been announced by the Ocean County Clerk’s Office, but it is generally three weeks before such special elections. —R.M.