What to know ahead of New Jersey’s 2023 primary election

New Jersey’s primary election is Tuesday, June 6. Here’s what you should know beforehand, from election deadlines to who’s on the ballot.

A voter enters the J.C. Stuart Elementary School in Willingboro, N.J., to vote in the primary election. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

A voter enters the J.C. Stuart Elementary School in Willingboro, N.J., to vote in the primary election. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

New Jersey’s primary election is fast approaching. Here’s what you should know ahead of primary Election Day on Tuesday, June 6.

What are the deadlines I need to know?

Below are deadlines specific to voting in the primary election.

  • Deadline to register to vote: Tuesday, May 16
  • Deadline to apply for a mail ballot by mail: Tuesday, May 30
  • Deadline to apply for a mail ballot in person: 3 p.m. Monday, June 5
  • Deadline to return mail ballot via secure drop box: 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 6
  • Deadline for qualified overseas and military voters to apply for electronic mail ballots: Friday, June 2
  • Deadline to return mail ballot by mail: Postmarked by 8 p.m Tuesday, June 6
  • Deadline to vote early in person: Sunday, June 4

Can I still register to vote?

The deadline for New Jerseyeans to register to vote for the primary election is Tuesday, May 16. New Jerseyeans can find out whether they are registered to vote online.

Who can register to vote?

Anyone can register to vote, so long as they will have been a U.S. citizen for at least 30 days before the election, are a resident of New Jersey, and are going to be at least 18 on or before Election Day.

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In 2019, the state restored the right to vote to people who are on probation and parole.

What does a ‘closed primary’ mean?

New Jersey has a closed primary system, which means that only Democrats and Republicans can vote for their party’s nominees to run in the general election. The voter deadline to switch party affiliation was April 12.

However, people who don’t belong to the two major parties can still vote on local ballot questions.

Can I still apply for a mail ballot?

The deadline to apply for a mail ballot by mail has passed, but New Jerseyans can still apply for a mail ballot in person by 3 p.m. on Monday, June 5.

Qualified overseas civilian and military voters must apply to receive mail ballots electronically by Friday, June 2.

Can I vote early in person?

New Jerseyeans who are registered to vote may do so in person at their county board of elections offices. Early voting for the primary election will open Friday, June 2, and continue through Sunday, June 4.

Every county will provide registered voters with in-person early voting locations. The list of early voting locations can be found online. Early voting will be open from 10 am. to 8 p.m. Friday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

When must mail or absentee ballots be received?

Voters have until 8 p.m. on Election Day to return their mail ballots to their county board of elections office in person or drop it off in one of their county’s secure ballot drop box locations.

Mail ballots sent through the mail must be postmarked by Election Day, and received by the county boards of elections on or before Monday, June 12.

Vote-by-mail ballots cannot be returned to a voter’s polling location.

How will I know if my mail ballot was processed?

Voters can check the status of their mail ballots online.

What if I want to vote in person?

New Jerseyans who want to vote in person on Election Day can do so at the polls, which will be open from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. Voters can find their polling places online.

Where is my polling place?

New Jersey voters can find their polling places online.

What if I received a mail ballot but want to vote in person?

If you have received your mail ballot but have not voted, you may only vote with a paper provisional ballot at your polling place.

What happens if I request a mail ballot and don’t receive it?

Voters who request a mail ballot but don’t receive it, or don’t have it to surrender, may vote by provisional ballot at their polling places. The provisional ballots will be reviewed by the county board of elections post-Election Day to determine whether they will be counted.

Who is on the ballot?

Candidates are vying to run in November’s general election for state Senate seats as well as the General Assembly. A full list of state Senate candidates can be found online, as can the full list of General Assembly candidates.

County offices, including commissioners, are on the line. In Mercer County, voters will be formalizing the Democratic and Republican candidates for county executive.

Municipal elections are also happening in several counties. Consult with your county election office for more information.

N.J. voter info & resources

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