FAQs for Young Voters and College Students for the 2020
Be sure to check the General Election FAQs for more information about voting in New Jersey, including filling out, submitting, and tracking your ballot. Due to Covid-19 and post office delays, plan to register to vote and submit your vote by mail ballots as soon as possible.
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Where do I register to vote if I'm a college student? What else do I need to know?
- Students can register from a college address or a parent’s address. You may want to consider where you will be living on election day, or which location gives your vote the most impact in both national and local races.
- Check the registration rules in the state where you want to vote to make sure you are eligible.
Where do I find voter registration rules and deadlines for the state where I want to vote?
- Every state provides their election rules and deadlines online. Go to Vote.org for information about voter registration in every state or contact your local board of elections.
- The Campus Vote Project and Rock the Vote also have information about student voting.
How can I find out if I am registered to vote at my parent’s home or at my college address?
- Check to see if you are registered in New Jersey.
- Check to see if you are registered in another state at Vote.org.
When should I register to vote?
- You should register to vote as soon as possible.
- Due to Covid-19 and post office delays, it might take longer than usual to complete your registration.
- The deadline to register in New Jersey is October 13.
How can I register to vote?
- In New Jersey, you have several options:
- Starting September 4, 2020, you can register online to vote. We will provide links and details when they become available.
- You can download the voter registration application form for your county.
- If your municipal office or local library is open, they often have voter registration and vote-by-mail application forms available.
- You can register at the Motor Vehicle Commission when you get your license. Be aware that there are currently long delays at the MVC, which may delay your voter registration.
- Go to Vote.org to find out how to register in other states.
Can I vote by mail in New Jersey?
- Yes. All voters registered in New Jersey will be sent a vote-by-mail ballot. Ballots will be sent out by October 5, 2020.
- Once you receive your vote-by-mail ballot, be sure to sign it the way you signed your registration form. Your signatures must match.
Can my parents fill out and deliver my ballot for me?
- You cannot have a parent, friend, or anyone else fill out your ballot. However, some states may allow you to have a parent, friend, or other person mail or deliver your completed ballot.
- Go to the General Election FAQs for more information about voting rules and who can mail or deliver your ballot in New Jersey.
How do I know if my ballot was received? Can I track my ballot in New Jersey?
- Before you return your ballot, take a photo or write down your Voter ID number. This number is located above the barcode on the back of the ballot return envelope.
- Sign up for public access with New Jersey Department of Elections to track your ballot.
- Use your voter ID to track your ballot. You may also use your SSN or driver’s license, but using your Voter ID number is easier.
- You can contact your county’s Board of Elections to find out if your ballot has been received, but using the online system is faster and easier and kinder to your County Clerk or Board of Elections (both of which will be under a lot of stress during the hectic weeks pre- and post-election).
Can I vote in person or by mail in my college state?
- If you are registered to vote in a state other than New Jersey and plan to vote in person, check the local municipal clerk or board of elections for the most current polling time and location information. Some states may have early voting, limited hours, or different different polling locations due to Covid-19.
- If you want to vote by mail, check the rules for the state where you want to vote. Vote.org has useful state voting information. Some states may require a valid excuse for vote by mail or absentee voting. Make sure that your registration address is current and that you will be able to receive your ballot there or have it forwarded to you promptly and securely by someone you trust.
How do I know what’s on the ballot?
- Ballotpedia is a good place to find what’s on the ballot where you plan to vote. Just enter the address where you plan to vote.
If I register to vote in my college state, will it affect my tuition, financial aid, or my parents' taxes?
- No, where you register to vote should not, in most cases, affect your in-state or out-of-state tuition status, your federal aid financial aid package, or status on your parents’ taxes.
- Check your state election rules for guidelines.
What if I go to college outside of the United States?
- As long as you are a US citizen, you can register to vote using the last address where you lived in the United States. Go to Vote From Abroad to register.
Can I register to vote if I am 17, but will turn 18 before the election?
- You can register any time, but you won’t be officially added to the voter database until you turn 18. You can follow up with your county clerk or local board of elections to find out if they received your voter registration form.
Is there an online app with voter information?
- In New Jersey, you can download the NJ Elections app. Check to see if the state where you plan to vote has an online app.
How can I get reminders about important voting deadlines?
- You can sign up for election reminders at Vote.org.
In the interest of providing accurate information to the general public, we urge members to share the link to this FAQ page with their friends, family, and neighbors, as well as in other community forums.