A person who has been convicted of a crime is disqualified from voting in a primary or general election, including municipal and special elections. The disqualification is not permanent. After completing the sentence, including probation or parole, the right of suffrage is reinstated in New Jersey. Disqualification also includes the right to serve as a grand or petit juror. However, convictions for crimes involving voting may result in permanent loss of the right to vote.
It is extremely important to consider the loss of suffrage as part of an overall defense strategy. Of equal importance, a convicted person should retain copies of his or her judgment of conviction and release upon completion of sentence to ensure restoration of the right of suffrage.
Convictions for disorderly persons offenses or ordinance violations do not curtail voting rights. Also, anyone who has received a conditional discharge or pretrial intervention diversion does not lose the right to vote.