Help Ensure Low-Income Tenants, Clients, and Neighbors “Get to the Polls” with by Absentee Voting
Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, 2018 is right around the corner. And now that the deadline to register to vote in the November election in NJ has passed, now is the time to think about our voting plans and absentee voting is an option in NJ.
Many of us already have our voting plans set, but low-income people face many challenges in getting to the polls to vote, including:
- inflexible work schedules,
- childcare requirements, and
- transportation issues.
Two solutions: early and absentee voting.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)’s Our Homes, Our Votes website has information about early and absentee voting. And the National Council of State Legislatures’ has an up-to-date state-by-state guide to absentee and early voting.
New Jersey offers “no-excuse” absentee by mail ballots. Although New Jersey does not have Early Voting in the traditional sense, within a certain period of time before an election the state allows a voter to apply in person for an absentee ballot (without an excuse) and cast that ballot in one trip to an election official’s office. This is often known as “in-person absentee” voting.
- “No-excuse” absentee voting, allowing any registered voter to request an absentee without requiring that the voter state a reason for his/her desire to vote absentee.
- A voter wanting a “no-excuse” absentee ballot to vote by mail may vote by mail by completing the Application for Vote by Mail Ballot and returning the application to their County Clerk.
- To receive your ballot by mail, the application must be received by the County Clerk 7 days prior to the election.
- Click here for more information about voting by mail in New Jersey.
Absentee ballots can be requested by residents who are unable to get to the polls on Election Day in every state. In some states, there is no reason required for absentee voting, and voters have the option to vote by absentee ballot or to vote before Election Day.
Providing information about early and absentee voting to the low-income individuals you serve is a great way to help increase voter turnout. NLIHC’s Our Homes, Our Votes project has a fillable checklist to help you plan your work around absentee and early voting.
For early voting, consider holding ballot parties where voters gather to vote as a group, perhaps after a discussion of affordable housing issues.
Our Homes, Our Votes has many resources on nonpartisan voter mobilization and “get-out-the-vote” activities. Make your plan today!