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State of New Jersey

Department of State

2018 New Jersey Ballot Bowl

2018 New Jersey Ballot Bowl

A Message from Secretary Way

I am honored to serve as New Jersey’s 34th Secretary of State and the state’s Chief Election Officer. With this, it is my obligation to keep New Jersey moving forward in the area of civic engagement. A significant part of that responsibility is ensuring that everyone who is qualified to vote is encouraged and unencumbered in casting their ballot. That way we can live up to the promise of our founding—that all of us are created equal, and deserve every chance to live out our dreams.

As you know, 2018 is a significant election year. To bolster civic engagement amongst our youth, I am launching the 2018 New Jersey Ballot Bowl! At its core, the Ballot Bowl is a college campus-centric, student-driven voter registration drive to heighten voter awareness and participation.

Participating schools shall designate a nonpartisan campus organization (e.g., the student government) to oversee and manage campus-level voter registration efforts. My office will provide the forms and relevant literature to assist schools in promoting the Ballot Bowl.

Below is a timeline for the Ballot Bowl. Please contact my office should you have any additional questions.


Sign Up Period

  • Prior to the Fall 2018 semester, my office will contact college presidents and student groups to invite them to join.
  • Each college/campus will designate a nonpartisan group, such as the student government, to coordinate the effort.
  • From my office, the coordinating group will receive communications materials, such as voter registration cards, for use on campus. The group will work to promote voter registration through tabling, social media, campus newspapers, partnering with other campus groups—any way that works!



  • The competition opens with a September Kick-off and campuses shall quickly rise to the challenge.
  • Campuses will compete in three ‘conferences,’ namely:
    • Conference 1: Schools with a student population of over 40,000
    • Conference 2: Schools with a student population of between 5,000 and 40,000
    • Conference 3: Schools with a student population of under 5,000
  • It is up to individual campuses to determine how voter registration drives are to occur.  Campuses should be mindful not to offer improper incentives (i.e., any quid pro quo activities).
  • Throughout the Ballot Bowl, campuses will report their numbers to my office. Individual campuses can decide for themselves how to tally their registrations.
  • The competition deadline is Friday, October 5, at 3 p.m. Eastern Time.  (In New Jersey, eligible voters must register by October 16 in order to vote in the November 6 General Election.)

*Note: Paper registration forms must arrive at the county election office or the Office of Secretary of State by 5 p.m. on October 16 to be eligible to vote in the November 6 General Election.


Winners Announced

The competition touches down before Election Day (November 6). My office will announce the winners at a special event. Stay tuned. . .


Promotional Flyer

Campuses will be distributing flyers supporting the Ballot Bowl. Feel free to use them in your efforts: NJ Ballot Bowl Flyer