By Michael Laffey
With interest in politics and elections at an all time high many people who have not previously been involved in politics are now interested in the Primary Election being held on Tuesday June 8th. People who have not previously identified themselves as Democrats or Republicans are asking if they can vote in the Primary Election. The answer is yes and it is very easy.
New Jersey Statute 19:23-45 sets forth the requirements for voting in a primary election.
If you are
1. A registered voter and;
2. not affiliated with any party and;
3. have never voted in a primary before;
you may vote in the primary election on June 8th.
All you have to do is show up at your election districts designated voting place on June 8th and state which party’s primary you want to vote in (sorry you can not vote in both party primaries). Once you have voted will then be listed as being affiliated with the party whose primary you voted in. At any time thereafter you can change your affiliation by filing the appropriate forms with the County Clerk of Elections.
It is possible that when you show up to vote that the poll workers are not familiar with this law and may not allow you to vote in the primary if you are not already affiliated with a party. In that instance you can do two things. You can ask them to call the County Clerk of Elections to confirm that you are eligible to vote. In Monmouth County that number is (732) 431-7790. The other alternative is to ask for a provisional ballot. That is a written ballot that is then placed in a sealed envelope and is counted after a determination has been made as to its legality.
Michael Laffey is an attorney with experience in handling election law matters.