Essex County Seal

Challenger Information

To become a Challenger you must be nominated by a candidate before the deadline.
Information about how to nominate challengers coming soon.

Challenger Deadlines:

  • General Election – TBD

Challengers Do’s and Don’ts

Challengers can:

  • Challenge a voter if the challenger believes the voter is not qualified to vote.
  • A United States citizen
  • 18 years of age or older
  • A resident of the county for at least 30 days before the election
  • A registered voter

A challenger must sign an affidavit stating the reason for the challenge.

Challengers cannot:

  1. Challenge a voter for any of these reasons:
    • They think they know how the voter is going to vote
    • The race, or ethic origin of the voter
    • Where the voter lives in the town or county
    • It is a criminal offense for a challenger to challenge a voter for any of the above 3 reasons.
  2. Sit with the election board workers or touch the election materials.
  3. Go to the voting machine during the voting hours.
  4. Challenge the voter directly. Only the district board can ask the voter questions.
  5. Wear any campaign buttons, signs or wear any campaign clothing.
  6. Harass or intimidate any voters; or cause any disturbance in the polling place.
  7. Challenge a voter because the district board asks the voter to affirm his or her residence or ask a first-time registrant by mail to show identification.

Appointment of Challenger:

To become a challenger you must be nominated by a candidate before the deadline. Candidates can request the Essex County Challenger Form to nominate a challenger.

Eligibility (19:7-3)

Appointees must be registered voters in the county in which they are to challenge.

Filing (19:7-3)

Appointments must be filed with the Essex County Board of Elections no later than the second Tuesday before the election.

Permits (19:7-4)

Permits are issued by the Essex County Board of Elections. The challengers must file them at the polls with the district board on Election Day.

Badges (19:7-6)

The Essex County Board of Elections furnishes badges which must be worn while challenging. They show which candidate or party the challenger represents.

Appointed Challengers (19:7-1, 1)

All challenger appointments are made by the County Board of Elections.

Challengers may be appointed in each district as follows:

  • Two from each political party appointed by the county chairperson.
  • Two representing each candidate or group of candidates listed on the same petition may be appointed by the candidate (s).
  • Two from each political party appointed by the municipal chairperson (for municipal elections).
  • Two representing each side of the public question may be appointed by the County Election Board.

Candidates and Election Board Members (19:7-2, 19:15-18)

Candidates whose names are on the ballot and district board members automatically serve as challengers. They do not need a permit.

Number of Challengers (19:7-6.1)

Unless permission is given by the district board, only one representative for each candidate, party or public question may challenge at a time. If permission is granted for more than one challenger to be present at any one time, it must be given to all candidates, both parties or both sides of the public question.