Following Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, the state's chief election officer, issued several directives to facilitate voting by displaced persons:

Nov. 1, 2012 - Directive Easing Restrictions on Voters In the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy [PDF]


Nov. 3, 2012 - Directive Regarding Email Voting and Mail-in Ballots for Displaced Voters

Notwithstanding Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, the State of New Jersey is committed to holding a fair, open, transparent, and accessible election on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, as established by federal law, 3 U.S.C. § 1, et seq.

In my capacity as the State’s Chief Election Official, I am working with State, county, and local officials to address election-day polling issues that have arisen as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Voters throughout the State are encouraged to take advantage of early voting options as made available by County Elections Officials.

In order to facilitate voter participation, and pursuant to the authorities vested in me by Executive Order 104, you are hereby directed as follows:

1. Any voter who has been displaced from their primary residence because of Hurricane Sandy is hereby designated as an “overseas voter” for purposes of the Overseas Residents Absentee Voting Law, N.J.S.A. 19:59-1, et seq., consistent with the following procedures:

A. These displaced voters may submit a mail-in ballot application to the County Clerk of the county in which they live. These voters may submit that application by email or fax. The contact information for the applicable Clerk is available at the applicable county’s website or at the New Jersey Division of Elections website, www.elections.nj.gov. Further information is available by calling the following toll-free number: 1-877-NJVOTER (1-877-658-6837).

B. Upon receipt of the application, the County Clerk shall determine if the applicant is a qualified voter. If so, the County Clerk shall electronically send the ballot and the waiver of secrecy form to the voter by the method chosen by the voter (email/fax).

C. The County Clerk shall accept such electronic applications through 5 p.m. on November 6, 2012.

D. The voter must transmit the signed waiver of secrecy along with the voted ballot by fax or email for receipt by the applicable county board of election no later than November 6, 2012 at 8 p.m.

2. The statutory deadline for the receipt of mail-in ballots will be extended to November 19, 2012 for any ballot postmarked on or before November 5, 2012. Any such ballot received by the County Boards of Election shall be processed in the normal course.

3. It is to be expected that counties will require a greater number of provisional and emergency ballots than usual. The County Clerks are hereby directed to evaluate the anticipated demand, ensure that the County has an adequate supply, and develop contingency plans to print and deliver additional provisional and emergency ballots on Election Day.

4. This Directive is effective immediately and shall expire after the general election of November 6, 2012.


Nov. 3, 2012 - Directive Expanding Ability of Displaced Voters to Vote

Notwithstanding Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, the State of New Jersey is committed to holding a fair, open, transparent, and accessible election on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

In my capacity as the State’s Chief Election Official, I am working with State, county, and local officials to address election-day polling issues that have arisen as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Voters throughout the State are encouraged to take advantage of early voting options as made available by County Elections Officials.

In order to facilitate voter participation, and pursuant to the authorities vested in me by Executive Order 104, you are hereby directed as follows:

1. A displaced voter may vote by provisional ballot at any polling place in the State.

a. All ballots must be counted by the Board of Elections in the voter's county of registration.

b. If a voter casts a ballot in a county other than the voter’s county of registration, the Board of Election in receipt of the provisional ballot must deliver it to the Commissioner of Registration of the voter’s county of registration by overnight mail or hand delivery.

c. All eligible votes must be counted.

  1. The appropriate Board must count the votes of all registered voters for the offices of President and United States Senator and on any statewide question; and,

  2. The appropriate Board must count the votes cast for any other office or question for which the voter is otherwise eligible to vote.

2. This Directive is effective immediately and shall expire after the general election of November 6, 2012.


Nov. 3, 2012 - Directive Regarding Notice and Communication

Notwithstanding Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, the State of New Jersey is committed to holding a fair, open, transparent, and accessible election on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, as established by federal law, 3 U.S.C. § 1, et seq.

In my capacity as the State’s Chief Election Official, I am working with State, county, and local officials to address election-day polling issues that have arisen as a result of Hurricane Sandy. In order to facilitate voter participation, and pursuant to the authorities vested in me by Executive Order 104, you are hereby directed that County Boards of Election shall make all efforts to inform voters within their counties of where the voters may vote. Those efforts include but are not limited to:

  • County websites
o Provide updated polling place assignments and locations for all polling places within the county.
o Notify the affected municipalities. Ask that the municipality provide a link to the county’s website.
o Notify the League of Women Voters and ask them to post the information on their website.
  • Reverse 911

o Advise all voters of change in polling place no later than Monday, November 5, 2012.

  • PSA Announcements

o Request all available local cable and radio stations announce the listing of any relocated polling place.
o Request all radio stations within the county’s listening area to announce there may be polling place changes and to provide contact information for the
Board of Election.

  • Newspaper Notice

o Contact all daily newspapers that circulate within the county for an article or display ad regarding the changed locations. Publicize this information through the day of the Election.

  • Posting at the Unavailable Polling Place

o If the unavailable polling place may be safely reached, post notices at the entryway(s) informing the voters of the new location.


 Nov. 6, 2012 - Directive to Accommodate Processing of Electronically Transmitted Mail-in Ballot Applications and to Preserve Displaced Voters’ Right to Vote

Notwithstanding Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, the State of New Jersey is committed to holding a fair, open, transparent, and accessible election on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

In my capacity as the State’s Chief Election Official, I am working with State, county, and local officials to address election-day polling issues that have arisen as a result of Hurricane Sandy. As part of those efforts, and in order to facilitate voter participation, we have expanded the ability of displaced voters to vote by email, facsimile, and mail-in ballots while fully protecting the integrity of the election.

The response to this expansion has been remarkable, reflecting the civic commitment of New Jersey voters to exercise their franchise even as they are displaced from their homes. The counties and the State are committing all available resources to quickly process email, fax, and mail-in ballot applications and to send qualified voters a ballot. Notwithstanding these efforts, it has become apparent that the County Clerks are receiving applications at a rate that outpaces their capacity to process them without an extension of the current schedule.

Given this extraordinary volume, if a displaced voter can vote by other means, they are urged to do so.

In order to facilitate voter participation in this general election and pursuant to the authorities vested in me by Executive Order 104, you are hereby directed as follows:

  1. The deadline for submitting a mail-in ballot application by email or fax remains 5 p.m. on November 6, 2012.

  2. County Clerks shall continue to process those applications until Friday, November 9, 2012, at 12 p.m.

  3. The voter must follow all instructions provided with the ballot.

  4. The voter must transmit the signed waiver of secrecy along with the voted ballot by fax or email for receipt by the appropriate county board of elections no later than Friday, November 9, 2012, at 8 p.m.

  5. The County Board of Elections shall process the emailed/faxed ballot according to the procedures provided for provisional ballots. Specifically, the Board shall verify that (a) the voter did not cast a vote in a voting machine at his or her assigned polling place and, (b) the voter did not submit any other paper ballot.

  6. This Directive shall take effect immediately.




PRESS RELEASE from Office of Gov. Chris Christie
November 3, 2012
Christie Administration Announces E-Mail and Fax Voting Available to New Jerseyans Displaced by Hurricane Sandy
Already Available to Military and Overseas Voters, State Opens Electronic Voting System to Make Voting More Accessible to Citizens Displaced by Hurricane Sandy and First Responders Assisting in Recovery Efforts

Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey Department of State has issued a directive today to county elections officials to permit New Jersey registered voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy to vote electronically. This directive also is intended to assist displaced first responders, whose tireless recovery efforts away from home has made voting a challenge.

“This has been an extraordinary storm that has created unthinkable destruction across our state and we know many people have questions about how and where to cast their vote in Tuesday’s election. To help alleviate pressure on polling places, we encourage voters to either use electronic voting or the extended hours at county offices to cast their vote,” said Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. “Despite the widespread damage Hurricane Sandy has caused, New Jersey is committed to working through the enormous obstacles before us to hold an open and transparent election befitting our state and the resiliency of its citizens.”

To vote electronically, displaced voters may submit a mail-in ballot application either by e-mail or fax to their county clerk. Once an application is approved, the clerk will electronically send a ballot to the voter by either fax or e-mail in accordance to the voter’s preference. Voters must return their electronic ballot – by fax or email – no later than November 6, 2012, at 8 p.m.

Voters can download a mail-in ballot application for their county by visiting http://nj.gov/state/elections/voting-information-vote-by-mail.html. A list of county clerk websites, phone numbers and fax numbers are available by visiting http://nj.gov/state/elections/voting-information-local-officials.html.

Separate directives issued today enable displaced voters and first responders to vote by provisional ballot at a polling place in a county other than the voter’s county of registration. The deadline for county clerks to receive mail-in ballots has been extended to November 19, 2012, for any ballot postmarked on or before November 5, 2012. Mail-in ballots post marked later than November 5 will not be accepted.

County elections officials have also been directed to print a sufficient number of provisional and emergency ballots to accommodate voters.

Voters are encouraged to take advantage of extended office hours at county elections offices to cast their vote early and in-person.  Registered voters can obtain and cast their ballot in-person at their county elections office up until 3 pm Tuesday.  County election offices are to remain open, at a minimum, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm throughout the weekend, until November 5.  Voters that have a mail-in ballot and choose to deliver their ballot to the county elections office in person must present their completed ballot to their county elections office no later than the close of polls on Tuesday.

Information is also available by calling 1-877-NJVOTER.



Press Contact:
Michael Drewniak
Kevin Roberts