Are you ready for the midterm elections?
New Jersey registered voters will go to the polls on Nov. 8 for Election Day, also called midterm elections, as they fall in the middle of the current presidential term.
There are the ways New Jersey residents can cast their votes on Election Day:
Absentee ballots: The deadline to request an absentee ballot was Nov. 1. Absentee ballots may be returned in person by 8 p.m. on Nov. 8 or by mail as long as they are postmarked by 8 p.m. on Nov. 8.
At your polling place as part of the traditional in-person voting day.
Get informed before you vote: Check out these 2022 election stories
GUIDE TO YOUR VOTING RIGHTS IN NEW JERSEY: In recent years, the state has allowed online voter registration and restored voting rights to an estimated 83,000 parolees and people on probation. The pandemic brought on a primarily mail-in ballot election in 2020, and since then the Garden State has taken additional steps toward expanding voting access and ballot-counting transparency, such as a new law requiring real-time updates on county websites of the number of ballots yet to be counted. A bill to allow same-day voter registration has not gained traction in the Legislature.
STILE: WILL INFLATION FRUSTRATION OVERTAKE NJ DEMOCRATS? IT'LL BE DOWN TO THE WIRE: Can New Jersey congressional incumbents — mostly Democrats — calm voters' inflation frustrations? Forecasts range from Republicans regaining control of the House, with Democrats narrowly holding the Senate, to a full rout, with the GOP seizing a 30-seat majority in the House and Senate control once the dust settles and early ballots are finally counted. In New Jersey, that could mean a reshading of the blue House delegation — 10 Democrats and 2 Republicans — to a more purple 9-3 split, or even possibly 8-4, depending on whose over-caffeinated predictions you listen to.
NEW JERSEY MIDTERM ATTACK ADS: ARE THEY WORKING?: Congressional candidates running in this fall's midterms have sharpened their television and social media attacks over the past week as the race begins in earnest — and as increasingly popular mail-in voting was beginning. That early start has brought new intensity to the September phase of the campaign. What used to be the early going has become the middle innings of a must-win playoff game. Republicans who have cast themselves as inflation fighters strolling down supermarket aisles are now framing soaring prices as a result of Democratic Party waste and pork-barrel corruption. Their Democratic rivals, meanwhile, are weaponizing the image of former President Donald Trump as they paint their GOP challengers as future foot soldiers in the service of MAGA extremism.
STILE: NJ HAS AN ABORTION REFERENDUM NOV. 8. HERE'S HOW THE GOP IS MANAGING THAT: The conventional advice guiding New Jersey congressional candidates as they approached the sensitive issue of abortion was fairly simple: Take a clear position and stick to it. This year, the advice has been thrown out the window. Instead, Republican candidates are contorting themselves in search of neutral or minimally damaging positions that neither frighten moderates, independents and dispirited Democrats nor anger socially conservative, anti-abortion voters in the Republican base.
ISSUES THAT WILL DRIVE VOTERS TO THE POLLS: The forecast for the Joe Biden midterms earlier this year was, to put it mildly, grim. The president’s popularity with voters had plummeted to the bottom of the tank. He bore the blame for historic highs in gas and grocery prices. His own party appeared unable to demonstrate that it could govern. It seemed that the party of Sleepy Joe — the derisive moniker peddled by conservative media — was facing another shellacking at the polls in November, much as his old boss Barack Obama did in the 2010 midterms. But now the congressional campaigns are beginning in earnest. The Democrats, once demoralized, are fueled by new energy and confidence that didn't seem possible only weeks ago.
WHO'S WINNING THE CASH GAME FOR CONGRESS: Democrats in competitive Garden State congressional races vastly outraised and outspent their Republican challengers in the three summer months after the state’s primary. In the 7th Congressional District, Rep. Tom Malinowski — who faces a tough reelection effort after redistricting added more Republican-leaning towns to the district — raised more than anyone else in the state, at over $1.8 million, and spent $3.3 million, according to the latest Federal Election Commission filings, due Saturday, which cover campaign activity from July through September. He collected more than twice as much in donations as his challenger, Thomas Kean Jr., who raised $866,000, and spent three times the $1 million that Kean paid vendors.
STILE: DO GOTTHEIMER AND SHERRILL REALLY NEED LAST-MINUTE CHARITY FROM MIKE BLOOMBERG: Mike Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor and short-lived candidate for president in 2020, reportedly insisted that some of the $21 million that he has sent to House Democrats — including a $10 million donation sent to the House Majority PAC, which is aligned with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — be steered to the two North Jersey Democrats, Rep. Josh Gottheimer and Rep. Mikie Sherrill.
MODERATION VERSUS MAGA? KEAN, MALINOWSKI: Democratic incumbent Rep. Tom Malinowski and his Republican challenger, Tom Kean Jr., took the gloves off in their first debate Thursday, as both candidates parsed the themes of their battle for New Jersey's 7th Congressional District — one of the most closely watched contests in the country.
SHERRILL ANSWERS QUESTIONS ON PRIORITIES LIKE ABORTION AND THE ECONOMY: In the last presidential midterm in New Jersey, the 11th Congressional District contributed to the so-called blue wave that put Democrats back in control of the House of Representatives. With the House expected to flip back to Republican hands, the heavily suburban district could once again be in play to flip. The Democratic incumbent who won her seat in the blue wave, Rep. Mikie Sherrill, is seeking a third, two-year term against Republican Paul DeGroot, a retired Passaic County prosecutor.
GOTTHEIMER ANSWERED OUR QUESTIONS ON ABORTION, INFLATION AND MORE: Voters will decide next week whether Democratic incumbent Josh Gottheimer gets another term representing the 5th District or Republican Frank Pallotta will upset him and head to the Congress. The USA TODAY Network New Jersey asked both campaigns about some of the major issues of the election, such as abortion and inflation. Only Gottheimer's campaign responded.
MIKIE SHERRILL USED BLUE WAVE TO WIN HOUSE SEAT. PAUL DEGROOT HOPES RED ONE WILL UNSEAT HER: Rep. Mikie Sherrill has been championed by high-ranking party members as a possible future U.S. Senate candidate or for the governor's office in 2025. She defeated Rosemary Becchi in 2020 by 30,000 votes. Winning a third term in 2022 would cement her credentials as a political force destined for higher office. Republican Paul DeGroot has put his "outsider" status out front, telling voters he is "not for Republicans" or "against Democrats" and is not seeking an endorsement from Trump, while stating "Joe Biden is my president."
NJ 11TH DISTRICT CONGRESSIONAL RACE: The two major-party candidates in New Jersey's 11th Congressional District debate in advance of the midterm election on Nov. 8. In this first debate, Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-Montclair, and Paul DeGroot, her Republican challenger, accused each other of lying several times during an hourlong session. The district covers most of Morris County and parts of Passaic and Essex counties as well.
NJ 7TH DISTRICT CONGRESSIONAL RACE: It wasn't planned this way, but the offices of NorthJersey.com and The Record last Tuesday became the site of an impromptu, abbreviated debate between the two candidates in New Jersey's most competitive House race. Well, maybe "debate" is too strong. But we managed to get the candidates of the 7th Congressional District jousting over a few issues at the same time — but not in the same room. Shortly after Democratic incumbent Tom Malinowski settled into his seat for an editorial board meeting with the USA TODAY Network New Jersey last Tuesday, a call flashed on my phone. It was his opponent, Republican Tom Kean Jr.
ARE MEGADONORS INFLUENCING CONGRESSIONAL RACES?: What special interest groups and deep-pocketed donors have opened their wallets so far in 2022 to influence New Jersey’s congressional primaries? Among them are cryptocurrency executives who shelled out six figures to prop up a U.S. senator’s son running for an open New Jersey House seat. And a shadowy group tied to the Democratic establishment that has stepped in to protect Democrats facing progressive challengers — and emphasize the ties between a Republican candidate and Trump. And there's a candidate’s mother who poured $2 million into a super PAC to boost her son’s chances to win a South Jersey seat.
CAN A CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE WITH $64,000 BEAT ONE WITH $14M?: Republicans held North Jersey’s 5th Congressional District for more than eight decades before Josh Gottheimer overthrew the seven-term incumbent in 2016. It hasn’t been much of a competition since. Now, the GOP — hoping for a red wave — has placed Gottheimer on its target list of “vulnerable incumbents” whose seats could be flipped. But the race tipped more to the left’s favor after redistricting, and the three-term congressman is armed with a $14 million war chest — 218 times greater than the $64,000 in the bank of his opponent, financier and mortgage broker Frank Pallotta.
NJ-11 CONGRESSIONAL DEBATE FOCUSES ON ABORTION RIGHTS AND 'WOKE MOB': U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill and challenger Paul DeGroot resumed their sparring over abortion, inflation and other hot-button issues Tuesday in their second debate in three days, this time joined by Libertarian candidate Joseph Biasco. Sherrill, a Montclair Democrat, is seeking her third term representing New Jersey's 11th Congressional District, which stretches across parts of Morris, Passaic and Essex counties. DeGroot is a Montville Republican and recently retired assistant Passaic County prosecutor. Read more on Sherril and DeGroot here.
JOSH GOTTHEIMER, FRANK PALLOTTA TO HAVE U.S. HOUSE REMATCH. HERE'S WHAT TO KNOW: In the state’s 5th Congressional district, incumbent Democrat Josh Gottheimer is squaring off against Republican challenger Frank Pallotta for the second time. While Gottheimer had no challenger in the primary, Pallotta faced off against two other Republicans to win his spot on the ballot. Gottheimer seems to be taking no chances against Pallotta despite raising many millions more than him and getting outside Democratic organizational support with late ads against the Republican and a visit from former President Bill Clinton.
CAN REPUBLICANS WIN PASSAIC COUNTY SHERIFF'S RACE?: The twin towers loomed over lower Manhattan the last time Passaic County had a Republican sheriff. That’s going to change this November. At least, that's what Republican Mason Maher, the Paterson police lieutenant running to unseat Democratic Sheriff Richard Berdnik, says when you ask him.
BERGEN COUNTY EXECUTIVE RACE: TAKEAWAYS FROM THE DEBATE AS CANDIDATES WENT HEAD-TO-HEAD: Bergen County Executive James Tedesco and challenger Todd Caliguire faced each other in a virtual debate in what has been an uneven financial match between the pair. The hour dialogue was monitored and included questions submitted by voters ahead of the forum. Some of the questions and dialogue focused on transportation, flooding, crime rates, Overpeck Park, diversity, reducing the county's carbon footprint, and child care during the hour.
CAN PASSAIC COUNTY'S LONG-TERM DEMOCRATS FEND OFF GOP IN COMMISSIONERS' RACE? Passaic County's race for the board of commissioners features two candidates seeking to surpass two decades in office and two attempting to stifle their streaks. On Nov. 8, incumbent Democrats Terry Duffy and Pat Lepore and Republicans Troy Oswald and Alex Cruz will vie for two three-year terms on the board. As an executive and legislative body, the seven-member board regulates the county's property, affairs and finances.
Municipal, school board races
HAS ROCHELLE PARK'S SCHOOL BOARD RACE BECOME MORE PARTISAN? National issues have began to trickle down to nonpartisan board of education races, politicizing what were once quiet races. Rochelle Park may serve as the latest example. This year, the Rochelle Park Republican County Committee endorsed two Board of Education candidates, Alfonso Santiago Jr. and Rafael Gomez, who are running under the slogan “Common Sense Candidates.” Santiago and Gomez campaign signs are red and have been paired with Republican Township Committee candidate Gail Artola’s sign. The school board candidates also participated in an event Sunday sponsored by the Rochelle Park Republican County Committee.
KENNETH PENGITORE VS. MICHAEL JOHNSON FOR HALEDON MAYOR: Kenneth Pengitore was there when the GOP lost its grip on the governing body. He came up short for a return to a third term as mayor in November 2006, and since that time, Democrats have been locked in complete control of every decision at the borough hall. Now the no-nonsense Republican, who was in the position for two four-year terms, wants the job back. Democrat Michael Johnson, 45, of Grove Street, will likely have something to say about that.
WESTWOOD SCHOOL BOARD, WASHINGTON TWP. REGIONAL BOARD: A debate gave five candidates an opportunity to share their views with the community. Doug Cusato and Joseph McCallister are running against each other for one seat to represent Washington Township on the regional board, while Laura Cooper, Jason Garcia and Michelle Sembler are running for two seats to represent Westwood.
TEANECK SCHOOL RACE ATTRACTS 12 FOR FIVE SEATS: TEANECK — A few things stand out in the 12-candidate race for five seats on the township's nine-member school board next month. Candidates indicate they are focused on post-pandemic priorities, especially restoring educational skill levels that lagged during COVID. There was no comment on the board's yearlong conflict with the district's superintendent who departed in June. Only Williams said "help in the transition of a new superintendent" as a priority. Also, candidates are eager to increase the board's transparency with the public, particularly on budget issues.
MEET THE CANDIDATES SEEKING TO BECOME PARAMUS' FIRST NEW MAYOR IN 18 YEARS: Two longtime residents with deep roots in Paramus are vying for the mayor’s seat, as longtime Mayor Richard LaBarbiera has decided not to seek reelection. Democrat candidate MariaElena Bellinger and Republican candidate Chris DiPiazza, both of whom are sitting councilmembers, will face off.
CONTROVERSIES ATTRACTING MANY TO RUN FOR LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS: The energized school board races that marked the state’s gubernatorial election last year and again this spring appear poised to return this November, as parents and school communities are fired up by new controversies, not as life-threatening as COVID-19 was, but equally polarizing. The numbers say it all: In Bergen County, 236 candidates are running for 161 seats in 61 school districts, according to unofficial lists released by county officials after the filing deadline. Fourteen candidates are running for five seats in Teaneck, where only two incumbents are seeking reelection. In Sussex County, 17 candidates are running for six open seats in Sparta, where the school board is often divided over issues and differing political ideologies. There are 85 candidates who will compete this year for 79 seats on Sussex County school boards. There were 64 candidates listed on last November's ballots, compared with 74 in 2020 and 70 in 2019. Morris County has 173 candidates running for 108 seats. Passaic County, with only 16 municipalities, has 86 candidates. There are very few races where there are more open seats than candidates, typical in past races.
BERGEN COUNTY MUNICIPAL RACES: Bergen County's three municipalities with nonpartisan elections all reported contested races after the filing deadline. Ridgewood, Mahwah and Teaneck have a later filing deadline than partisan races, and this year all are reporting that candidates exceed the seats to be filled.
FRANKLIN LAKES CANDIDATES FIELD IS CROWDED: Two independents have officially joined the race to run against Democratic and Republican candidates for seats on the Borough Council. Former councilwoman and Board of Education member Susan McGowan and Planning Board Chairman Gary Sheppard reportedly filed in June to run for the council as independents, but their candidacies did not appear on the Bergen County ballot until Tuesday's deadline.
CLIFTON CITY COUNCIL ELECTIONS: The ballot placement selections were randomly determined for Clifton's nonpartisan City Council election on Nov. 8. Every four years, Clifton voters get to pick the seven candidates they would like to see elected to the council. By tradition, the top vote-getter is named as the city's mayor. With 17 candidates, there's a school of thought that where one's name appears can have an influence on whether one gets elected. Here are all the candidates running in the Clifton election.
MAHWAH SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION GETS CROWDED: Three Mahwah school board incumbents will again be challenged for new terms in this fall's election. Board of Education President Prema Moorthy and trustees John Dinice and Brett Coplin filed by the July 25 county deadline to seek new terms on the nine-member board in the November election.
CONTESTED UPPER SADDLE RIVER SCHOOL RACES: Although Upper Saddle River's regional high school candidates will go unchallenged, two elementary school board trustees will face challengers in a rare contested Board of Education race this November.
RAMSEY SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION: Parents' rights advocate Timothy Walsh will challenge an incumbent slate for one of three open seats on the district's 10-member school board in November. According to petitions that had to be filed with the county by last Monday's 4 p.m. deadline, Vice President Anthony Socci and trustee Jennifer Burns are running for new terms with retired Ramsey police Capt. David Stitz on a bracketed "Experience, Dedicated, Transparent" slogan. Trustee Scott Kaufmann is not seeking a new term.
POLITICS TOP CONCERN IN RAMAPO INDIAN HILLS SCHOOL BOARD RACE: Politics, which aren't supposed to have a place in nonpartisan school elections, have become a top concern for candidates running for three seats on the Ramapo Indian Hills school board from Wyckoff and Franklin Lakes. The word "politics" or some variation of it shows up in every response to a NorthJersey.com and The Record election survey submitted by board candidates in the two races, indicating hatchets were not buried after last year's "parents' rights" debates.
WHY SO MANY CANDIDATES FOR SCHOOL BOARD IN SPARTA AND OTHER DISTRICTS? School board races in Sussex County used to be sleepy affairs, where the biggest challenge was finding enough volunteers to fill out the ballot. But that has all changed in an era of COVID closures, mask mandates, new sex education curriculum standards and high taxes, all leading to heated school board meetings. Sparta could be the poster child for the increasingly politicized board elections taking hold across North Jersey. Seventeen candidates are vying for just six open seats to lead the district of 3,200 students, part of a trend of hotly contested races across the region.
SEX ED, REMOTE LEARNING ARE TOP ISSUES IN FRANKFORD SCHOOL BOARD RACE: Three of the candidates running in the township's contested school board race met with voters at a forum Thursday night, with New Jersey's controversial new health standards and the impact of remote learning among the topics of discussion. Jamie Aromando, Lara Longberg and Andrew Lubchansky fielded questions from parents and students in the Frankford Township School gym for about 90 minutes at the forum. The environment was designed as a "casual sit-down" to avoid the tensions that often arise from typical debate settings, said Matt Storch, president of the Frankford Township Education Association.
SEX ED AND TRANSPARENCY FUEL RANDOLPH SCHOOL BOARD DEBATE: Seven candidates for three seats on the Randolph Board of Education engaged in a largely civil discussion of issues that have divided the district during an online forum on Thursday hosted by the League of Women Voters of Morristown Area.
NJ election 2022 videos
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Midterm elections 2022 New Jersey: What you should know