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Who can Vote in a Primary?
Release Date: June 24, 2013
* On August 13th, NJ will hold a Special Primary Election for the US Senate seat left vacant as a result of the passing of US Senator Frank Lautenberg.
The Primary Elections
Each year in June (and also this coming August), New Jersey holds two Primary elections: the Democratic Primary and the Republican Primary.* The primary elections allow voters to determine which candidates in their respective party will represent their party at the next ensuing General Election in November.
New Jersey's primaries are "closed," which means that registered voters of the state must declare [or affiliate with] either the Republican or Democratic party in order to vote in that party's Primary Election.
Registered members of the Green Party, Libertarian Party, Natural Law Party,Reform Party, U.S. Constitution Party or the Conservative Party can participate in the convention of their respective party, according to its bylaws, but they may not vote in either the Democratic or Republican primaries.
Voters affiliated with a party other than Republican or Democratic who would like to vote in a Primary election have the option of affiliating with/joining either the Democratic or Republican party, but must do so at least 55 days prior to the Primary Election date (see below). Unaffiliated (Independent) voters may choose to affiliate with either the Democratic or Republican party at the polls on the day of the primary election by voting in that party's primary. The voter then will be affiliated with that party unless and until they change party affiliation or declare themselves unaffiliated again. Once affiliated, the deadline to change affiliation is 55 days prior to the primary election.