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New Jersey Voters: Are We Spoiled? [AUDIO]

More than 30 states currently have laws in place that require voters to present identification at the polls before they cast their ballots this November. In some states, a voter ID law has been on the books for decades. New Jersey does not carry such a law.

Voting Booth
Flickr User Mandemonium

Meanwhile, New Jersey is on the list of states that allow “no-excuse absentee voting.” Any voter can make their choice by mail, no questions asked. In other states, absentee ballots are only available to service members, the disabled or other voters dealing with unique circumstances.

There appear to be some perks associated with being a voter in the Garden State, but many other states have made the registration and voting process even more convenient for residents.

“There are actually a number of states that are allowing voter registration on the Internet, without ever having paper involved in the process at all,” explained Jennie Bowser, senior fellow at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

In New Jersey, like most other states, registration can not be complete without an actual signature. The form can be mailed in, or someone can register to vote while applying for assistance or service at a number of state agencies.

In two states, Oregon and Washington, all elections are conducted by mail. According to the NCSL, a ballot is automatically delivered to every resident of those states before Election Day.

“They don’t really have polling places,” Bowser said. “They open a few for emergency cases.”

Also, early voting is not offered in New Jersey, as it is in 32 other states and the District of Columbia. With no excuse or justification, voters can cast a ballot in person during a specified period prior to Election Day.

The deadline to register in New Jersey for next month’s election is Tuesday, October 16. Those registering by mail are asked to provide either a driver’s license number, a non-driver ID number from the MVC, or the last four digits of their social security number. If a voter offers none of the required information, the application process can still continue, but the voter must present valid identification on Election Day.

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