The Times, Trenton

Know Your Rights Before Casting Vote

The Times of Trenton — Sunday, November 2, 2008

Things don't always run smoothly on Election Day. Sometimes voters get turned away at polling sites. Sometimes voters go to the wrong polling site or aren't certain whether they are eligible to vote.

If you are a registered voter in the Garden State, here's what you need to know about your legal rights and protections: If you are at your polling place - either inside or waiting in line any time between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m., you have the right to vote.

You have the right to vote without presenting any form of identification other than your own signature. (Poll workers are required to ask for ID only if you are a first-time voter in your county and you registered by mail after Jan. 1, 2003, and did not complete the ID portion of the registration form.)

If you are unable to sign your name, you have the right to vote after orally confirming your identity with an election official. If you cannot read or write, or you are physically disabled, you have the right to request special assistance with voting.

If an election official cannot find your name on the list and you have not moved, you have the right to vote by provisional ballot.

If you have not moved, but election records incorrectly indicate that you have, you have the right to All out an address verification form and vote. If you have moved within the same county, you have the right to fill out an address verification form and vote at your new precinct.

If you have been convicted of a felony but have served the full length of your criminal sentence and have registered to vote since then, you have the right to vote.

If you have changed your name since registering to vote, you have the right to vote under your original name.

If you make a mistake or "spoil" your ballot, you have the right to receive a "replacement ballot" and vote.

You have the right to vote without anyone influencing you.

You have a right to bring your children into the voting booth with you.

You have the right to file a signed or anonymous written complaint at your polling place if you are dissatisfied with the way an election is being run.

If your right to vote is challenged by an election official, and you are prevented from voting, you have the right to a hearing on Election Day to determine your eligibility.

If the judge finds that you should be allowed to vote, you have the right to vote that same day.

You have the right to take this publication into the voting booth with you.

These tips were compiled by New Jersey Citizen Action, the American Civil Liberties Union, the League of Women Voters of New Jersey and the NAACP National Voter Fund.

Top Top | NJCA Homepage | NJCA in the News