Election Websites: New Jersey

Election Websites: New Jersey

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Researchers assessed state election websites for the Pew Center on the States between May-November 2010, using detailed criteria evaluating the content, lookup tools, and usability. Websites may have changed since they were assessed. See methodology (PDF).

Strengths include:

  • Links on the home page organized by audience, with easy-to-find key information.
  • Voter registration forms and ballot-question information offered in multiple languages.
  • Extensive information about casting a ballot, including a description of the voting equipment in each county, a toll-free number for finding out the status of a provisional ballot, identification requirements for voting, and polling place hours.
  • Voter registration forms specific to a county that are labeled with the address of its election clerk.
  • Lookup tools that allow voters to confirm their registration status and find their polling place by street address. Voters can also look up their voting history online after signing up for a user ID and password.

Recommended improvements include:

  • Display instructions for people with disabilities for using accessible voting systems to cast ballots (33 states offer).
  • Provide a way for military and overseas voters to check whether their voted ballots have been received (33 states offer), and provide instructions on obtaining and completing a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (30 offer).
  • List links to websites of recognized state political parties (32 states offer).
  • Offer candidate contact information, including e-mail addresses (19 states offer), campaign website (20 offer), and phone numbers (23 offer).
  • Offer lookup tools for a sample ballot (22 states offer), an absentee ballot (29 offer), and a provisional ballot (19 offer).
  • Place related information on the same page instead of spreading it on several pages. For example, group together voter registration content on one page.

Noteworthy Feature: New Jersey provides a detailed online form for reporting possible access violations at polling places.

Initial Quick Fix: Provide military voters with state-specific instructions on how to obtain and complete the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (30 states offer).

Summary: Although New Jersey's website contains many useful resources, it lacks important information and offers only two out of five recommended lookup tools, lowering its overall score.

www.njelections.org was assessed for content and lookup tools.

http://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/index.html was assessed for usability.