Your Guide to Voting in New Jersey’s 2021 Primary Election

By: Helena Perray, Follow South Jersey Community Resources Intern

Photo: Jon Bradley | Follow South Jersey

SOUTH JERSEY — The New Jersey primary election takes place this Tuesday, June 8, and voters have a lot of information to know before casting their ballots. With the date quickly approaching, state residents need to know how and where they can vote in this year’s primary.

Yes, there will be in-person voting available for this year’s primary, and polling locations will be open to the public from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. on the day of the election. Social distancing and the use of face masks will be required at polling locations. New Jersey lifting its indoor mask mandate doesn’t apply to government buildings such as polling locations.

For those who wish to vote by mail, you can visit vote.nj.gov in order to contact your local county clerk and apply for your ballot by 3 p.m. on June 7.

There are a few key steps to ensure your vote-by-mail process runs smoothly: Following your application, voters should receive a ballot, inner envelope, certificate, and mailing envelope. According to NJ.gov, all selections should be made in blue or black ink as ballots are being filled out. The certificate should then be completed and signed, remaining connected to the inner envelope that it was received in.

Once both are completed, the ballot should be placed in the inner envelope with your certificate. This envelope will then be placed into the mailing envelope, sealed and ready to be sent.

Once you’re ready to send in your ballot, there are three return options available: Voters are able to mail in their ballots, so long as it is postmarked by 8 p.m. on June 8 and reaches your county’s board of elections office no later than June 14. After mailing in your ballot, you can track it through the state’s “track my ballot” portal.

Voters also have the option of a secure ballot drop box. Drop box locations are open 24 hours a day, and will remain open until polls close on Tuesday. Here, ballots must be returned to your county’s drop box by 8 p.m. on June 8. Drop box locations by county can be viewed here.

Voters’ last option is to make an in-person delivery to the board of elections office of your county by 8 p.m. on election day. You will not be permitted to return your vote-by-mail ballots to your local polling site for this election.

According to NJ.gov, those who wish to vote early “will be able to request and return their vote-by-mail ballots early to a secure ballot drop box, by mail, or in person to their board of elections office.” There will be no in-person early voting option available to voters during this election.

Unaffiliated voters will be required to declare a party – Democrat or Republican – at their polling locations before voting, and must vote for candidates who are under their registered party. If voting by mail, it will also be required that either a Democrat or Republican ballot be chosen by voters.

On election day, in person voters will have multiple polling locations, available by county, to cast their ballots. There are hundreds of locations available throughout South Jersey, and you can find the full list of those spots here.

The most noteworthy election taking place tomorrow is the Republican primary for the 2021 Gubernatorial Election. Four candidates will battle it out to earn the Republican nomination and try to defeat incumbent Governor Phil Murphy in the November race.


This article was produced by a Follow South Jersey news intern thanks to a grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the New Jersey Health Initiatives program to create hyper-local news to meet the informational and health needs of the City of Bridgeton, N.J.