June Primary Election
Every June, there is a statewide Primary Election in New Jersey. You must be affiliated with a party in order to vote in the party’s primary election.
About the "Closed" Primary Election
Primary elections in New Jersey are “closed”. This means that unaffiliated voters — those who aren’t members of any political party — can vote in the primaries only if they affiliate themselves to either the Republican or Democratic political party. In other words, you must be a registered Democrat or Republican to vote in primary elections.
When and What Parties?
The New Jersey primary election will be on June 7, 2022. If you are registered to vote, but not affiliated with any party, just go to your polling place on June 7 between 6:00 AM – 8:00 PM. Tell the poll workers which primary you’d like to vote in — Democratic or Republican (the only two parties who qualify for primary elections under state law at this time) — and they will provide a Political Party Affiliation Declaration Form to fill out. Once you vote, you can fill out another form and change it back to “Unaffiliated.”
If you are currently affiliated with a party and would like to change your affiliation to vote in another party, for example from Democratic to Republican, you must fill out the Political Party Affiliation Declaration Form at least 55 days before Election Day in order to vote in that party’s primary.
The June Primary Election is only for the Democratic and Republican parties. *If you are a registered member of the Green Party, Libertarian Party, Natural Law Party, Reform Party, U.S. Constitution Party, Conservative Party or the Socialist Party of New Jersey you can participate in the convention of that party, according to its bylaws, but you cannot vote in either the Democratic or Republican Primary.
You can declare or change your Political Party Affiliation in two ways:
Why is voting in the June Primary Election Important?
To put the importance of primary elections in perspective, let’s look at Legislative District 20 (2021). LD-20 comprises the towns of Elizabeth, Hillside, Roselle, and Union, where there are 77,311 registered Democrats and 11,994 registered Republicans. Whoever wins on the Democratic primary ballot will win in the General Election due to the highly skewed number of registered voters of that party in the district (assuming that Democratic voters will vote for the Democratic candidate). However, there are 47,338 registered Unaffiliated voters in this district who can participate and also make their voices heard in the Primary Election and affiliating themselves to either party.