Challengers

Appointing Challengers

Fill out the Challenger Form online

(You may also download and print the form if you prefer.)

Challengers are appointed to observe the conduct of an election on behalf of:

  • a candidate
  • a political party
  • the proponents or opponents of a question.
  • The County Chairperson of each political party may appoint two (2) challengers per election district.
  • A municipal Chairperson may appoint for the political party two (2) challengers for each election district within the municipality.
  • Candidates whose names appear on the ballot automatically are challengers. They do not need to have a Challenger Badge.
  • A candidate for election may appoint two (2) challengers for each election district in which he/she is to be voted for, but only two (2) challengers shall be allowed for each election district to represent all candidates nominated in and by the same petition.
  • Not more than one (1) challenger appointed for a party, candidate, or on a public question, shall be present at any one time in any polling place while serving and exercising the powers of a challenger and during the hours when the polls are open for voting. (19:7-6.1)
  • A County Chairman can appoint “at-large” challengers equal to the number of municipalities in the county. The “at-large” challenger shall be issued a county-wide permit which is to be presented to any district poll worker within the county. When leaving the polling place, such challenger must reclaim the permit in order to gain entry to any other polling place.
  • It is the responsibility of the local party chairs to educate challengers about the position.

General Information and On-Line Form

  • Challenger requests must be filed by the specific deadline for primary, general and school board elections
  • Challenger requests must be signed by the candidate by checking the signature box. (If using the PDF form, you must print, sign and either fax or mail the form. It cannot be submitted electronically.)
  • Challengers have to be registered voters
  • Democrats can challenge for Republicans & vice versa
  • Challengers must be registered voters in the County they are challenging in
  • Challenger forms used to apply for Challenger Badges must include the names, addresses and district or districts they challenging in.

Challengers at the Polls

The primary duty of a Challenger is to observe the election, keep a record of who voted, and challenge any voter for whom they have a reasonable basis to believe is not qualified to vote.

  • Challengers are required to give the left side (permit) of their challenger credentials to the poll worker.
  • Challengers need to keep the right side (badge portion) with them at all times, wearing the badge inside the polling place.
  • If you wish to challenge a vote – go the poll workers and ask for the information on “Challenging A Vote.”
  • Voters are not to go to the challengers to check-in. Challengers can not impede the voter’s progress.
  • Challenger tables are arranged by the poll workers in a location that does not interfere with the voters, but close enough to hear the poll workers call the voters name.
  • Challengers may not sit at the same table as the poll workers or handle any voting materials. (books, voting authorities, etc.)
  • Challengers may not electioneer nor wear buttons, pins or T-Shirts showing candidate or political party support.
  • No more than one challenger for a party, candidate or a public question shall be present at any one time in any polling district.
  • Candidates are automatically challengers and do not need a challenger badge.
  • Challengers may not use cell phones in the polling place.
  • Challengers must wait for poll workers to complete their work of closing the polls before asking for the results.

Challengers May Observe…

  • the opening of a polling place and the opening of machines.
  • the official Election Zero Report to be sure the totals on the report are zero.
  • voters casting their ballots.
  • the voters cast being counted.
  • ballots being counted.

Challengers have the right and power to challenge the counting or rejecting of any ballot or any part of a ballot.

How to Challenge a Voter

  • A Challenger can challenge a vote based on a belief that the voter is not qualified to vote based on citizenship, age or residency.
  • No person on parole, probation or serving sentence due to a conviction for an indictable offense under any federal or state laws is entitled to vote.

A challenge MUST be started AFTER the voter gives their name to the poll worker and BEFORE the voter enters the voting machine.

  • The poll worker must read aloud the information of Form C-3 “Information for Challenged Voter.”
  • After all questions are addressed, a vote must be taken by the poll workers to determine the right of the voter. If a tie vote, the challenge fails and the voter can vote. If the right to vote is denied the Challenger must complete Form C-2 “Challenger’s Affidavit” which is signed by the poll workers. The voter must complete Form C-4 “Challenged Voter Affidavit” and this is also signed by the poll workers.
  • If the right of the voter is denied, the voter may appeal the poll workers decision to a Superior Court Judge in Morristown. The voter must bring with him/her a copy of the Challenger’s Affidavit and the Challenged Voter Affidavit.