WHERE is my ballot?
When voters are not confident that their ballot will be received and accepted during any part of the process, that can depress the use of Vote By Mail. To counter this, we need to see where it is during the process.
- I haven’t received my ballot yet. When did they mail my ballot?
- I put my ballot out for the postman to pick up. Has the county received it?
- Did they accept my ballot or did I forget something and it was rejected?
But. Where. Is. My. Ballot?
At any time, you can call your local Election Officials to inquire. They have the most updated information. FIND your local Election Officials here: https://nj.gov/state/elections/county-eo.shtml You can also track your ballot! It is imperfect, but will give 99% of us peace of mind.
About “Track My Ballot”
The Track My Ballot portal was written by ATNJ Education Fund Founder and Executive Director! This legislation was modeled on King County, Washington where they’ve been primarily VBM for over a decade. This original draft of the bill that Winn Khuong wrote is shown below and was passed into law in August.
Starting next February, the system will also display the codes of rejection so that voters can see why their ballots were rejected. Have you seen the graphs that we’ve done showing reasons for rejection by county? After February, we won’t have to! These reports will be done and made available publicly on the website for a period of 10 years. If you think this work is valuable, please donate so Winn can keep doing this work. And if you used a ballot drop box or tracked your ballot, please buy her a cup of coffee: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/atnj-education-fund-1
How to Sign Up
In the following images, we are using the log-in screens from Executive Director of ATNJ Education Fund, Winn Khuong. A reminder that the voting history is public information!
1. Log into this URL: https://voter.svrs.nj.gov/auth/sign-in
2. Enter your information
Once signed up, you will get a confirmation email
There are 3 tabs with information: Election History, Mail-in Ballot History, Provisional Ballot History. Your Voter Information is on the home page.
Election History – every voter’s election history is public. Whether or not they voted is known but since every ballot is secret, how a voter voted is not known.
Mail-in Ballot History
This can be better laid out but from here, you can see when your ballot was received by your local county board of elections. Boards of Election can start processing the ballots as soon as they are received. For certain ballots that are temporarily rejected, voters will be notified within 24 hours and provided with a Cure Form as per the Ballot Cure Act.
Provisional Ballot History
The test of the provisional ballot worked! For the November 3rd General Election, any voters NOT using their mail-in ballot and would rather vote in person will only be able to cast a vote by Provisional Ballot. Voting machines will only be available for voters needing ADA compliance. ALL provisional ballots are canvassed and tabulated regardless of how close the race is and even when a race is unopposed. All votes are counted.
What are the Ballot Status terms?
- “N/A” indicates they there’s essentially nothing to report
- “Received” means your mail-in ballot bar code was scanned in on that date and they are in possession of it.
- “Accepted” is provided to mail-in ballots who have passed the Security Features and will be counted.
- “Rejected” are for mail-in ballots who failed one or more security features and will not count.
Here are lag times in the system:
- If voters mailed the mail-in ballots, time for processing at USPS and delivered to the Board of Elections
- If voters dropped their mail-in ballot at a secure ballot drop box, time between when it was dropped, when it was picked up and delivered back to the Board of Elections
- When the ballots are delivered to the County Board of Elections, not all ballots can be scanned in as Received so there is lag time there. This is different with every county and it depends on the volume of mail-in ballots to be processed, the number of staffing, and the equipment/technology needs. Many counties have ballots under lock and key waiting to be scanned in as received.
- Processing time is what takes the most time: opening the outer envelope, checking and logging in the Bearer portion as needed, verifying the Certificate of Mail-in Voter and checking it was signed and not torn off, and checking that the mail-in ballot was sealed and not tampered with.
You may not see “Received” or “Accepted” until before Election Day, and that’s okay. If on November 3rd, your Ballot Status is still listed as “N/A” and you mailed, dropped, or delivered more than 5 days prior, please take a screen snapshot of that and you can vote by Provisional Ballot at your local polling place if you are anxious and want to ensure that your vote counts.
Helpful Tips from NJ Department of Elections
Before creating a “My Voter Record Account”:
- Please visit the Am I Registered/Voter Search Tool to confirm your voter registration information for accuracy, including spelling, date of birth, and city/county
If you experience difficulty bringing up your voter registration record: Please remember your county provided the information that is loaded into the “Am I Registered” tool. Therefore the name you enter into the “Am I Registered” lookup tool must exactly match how the county provided it to work correctly.
Here are some things to keep in mind when entering your name into the “Am I Registered” tool:
- Does your last name have a hyphen or space?
For example: McDonald may be entered as Mc Donald.
- Was there a hyphen added or last name changed due to marriage?
- Is there a middle initial is used to search and the county doesn’t have a middle name on your registration.
- Nicknames won’t match.
For example: Kate won’t match Katherine, Jim won’t match James, etc.
- If the information is shown incorrectly in your voter registration record, county election officials must be notified. However, for purposes of creating your Voter Record Account enter the information as it currently appears in you voter registration record.
- Does your last name have a hyphen or space?
- Once you have confirmed your information, locate your Voter ID number in the record you retrieved and write it down. You should then use the Voter ID number to create a “My Voter Record” account.
Now you are ready to go ahead and create a “Voter Record Account” to track your ballot.
Here are some helpful tips when creating your “Voter Record Account”:
- There can’t be any spaces in the first name when creating an account.
For example: If a voter’s first name is “S Robert,” the voter should create an account using “S” as the first name.
- Your username must be between 4 and 15 characters long and may consist of any of the following characters:
- a single period
- Your password must be at least eight characters long and include at least one of the following:
- lowercase letter
- uppercase letter
- symbol (! @ # $ % ^ & *)
- When logging into your account for the first time, please be aware you are to log in using your username and password, not your email address.
TROUBLESHOOTING: The portal is not working for me!
If you were registered via Automatic Voter Registration through NJMVC (Motor Vehicle Commission) please use Driver’s License number or SSN.
- Try using your Driver’s License
- Try using your Social Security number
- Wait to get your mail-in ballot and use the Voter ID that will be on the envelope OR check what your voter ID is here online: https://voter.svrs.nj.gov/registration-check
- Call your local Board of Elections and ask for help. Ask them to provide you with your Voter ID number. https://nj.gov/state/elections/county-eo.shtml
- Call for help line: 609-292-3760
- Contact the Division of Elections and ask for help.
- EMAIL a COMPLAINT: Feedback@sos.nj.gov
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