NJ Spotlight News materials, Votebeat stories, reporting resources, graphics and social cards available for republishing

It’s getting close to the November election, and you’re swamped. We know you are busy covering local elections, the pandemic and protests.

So to help you help your readers understand how to vote, the Center for Cooperative Media is providing a full Q+A article about the voting process in New Jersey that you can pick up from NJ Spotlight News and run with attribution on your website, in your printed product or in a video broadcast or podcast. The article is available in both Spanish and English, and we are currently working with NJ media partners to expand translation to 10 languages.

Additionally, NJ Spotlight News also has a video about how to vote that you can embed on your website. We’ve also created several graphics for you to run on your website, in your printed product and on social media about the voting process in New Jersey.

This is part of an effort to provide NJ News Commons members with reliable content you can use leading up to, and after the election. To get access to the folder, click here and send us a request. 

As you’ll see below, the Center is also helping to facilitate dissemination of Votebeat content in New Jersey.

Below, you’ll find all the resources mentioned above, plus additional materials from Free Press and all the election coverage from our reporting partners.

If you have questions about this project or any of the resources on this page, send an email to [email protected].

Read our 2020 Election report

In surveying the landscape and talking with partners, the Center decided to put early emphasis on helping news organizations understand and explain the voting process and on providing additional training and incentivizing ethnic media and mainstream media collaboration. Then in late fall, content sharing was added to the mix with the launch of Votebeat. 

Among the initiatives that the Center spearheaded were:

  • An arrangement with NJ Spotlight News to make its statewide “How to vote in New Jersey” story and video about mail-in ballots available for republication; social graphics about the voting process were also created and shared with NJ News Commons members. 
  • Translation of the NJ Spotlight News “How to vote in New Jersey” piece from English into an additional 10 languages; the article was then published by 10 ethnic media outlets. 
  • Creation of a pop-up newsletter to share content produced by Votebeat with NJ News Commons members for republication. 
  • Fellowships with five ethnic and community media reporters to allow them to do additional election-related reporting. 
  • Telebriefings and training webinars, including one about disaster planning with Election SOS.
  • The provision of legal help on and after Election Day for journalists facing legal issues regarding reporting at polling stations or covering protests or celebrations.

We’re participating in #Votebeat

Votebeat is a new pop-up nonprofit newsroom covering local election administration and voting in eight states, created by Chalkbeat. New Jersey is one of a handful of states that was lucky enough to land Votebeat reporters!

Our state’s two Votebeat reporters are based at NJ Spotlight News. They include Jeff Pillets, a longtime former reporter for The Record, and Genesis Obando, a reporter and video journalist who recently graduated from Montclair State University.

All of the nonpartisan coverage that Jeff and Genesis produce for Votebeat is freely available for republication. The republication guidelines can be found here.

The Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University will send an email twice a week for the next few months to all of its NJ News Commons members with links to the latest Votebeat stories.

If you have a story you want one of the Votebeat reporters to look into, let us know: email info@centerforcooperativemedia.org.

Resources for before and after the vote

Free Press has developed a database with more than 100 resources to help journalists keep communities informed and safe during the volatile weeks ahead.

View the database.

Practical legal advice for journalists

Jennifer Borg, a well-known attorney specializing in media law at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, has compiled a list of practical advice about how to cover Election Day at the polls.

The handout includes the following:

  • A practical guide to the law in New Jersey that covers everything from the “100-foot rule” to the exceptions that govern photography and filming inside a polling place.
  • Info for how to reach Jennifer, should you have questions on or before Election Day. Her number is 201-280-5501. You can call her about the tip sheet and ask questions (pro bono). This is for NJ News Commons members only.
  • Info about a collaborative effort by NJ-SPJ and the Center for Cooperative Media to compile a list of any problems Garden State journalists encounter in their Election Day coverage.

Click here to download the handout.

Reporte Hispano and NJ.com are working together

Reporte Hispano and NJ.com have teamed up to produce collaborative reporting on the election. You can read the first story, co-reported by Kleibeel Marcano and Rodrigo Torrejon, in both English and Spanish by clicking the links below.

  • For N.J. Hispanic voters, 2020 election vote hinges on immigration, COVID-19 and racial inequality (English)
  • Para los votantes hispano en Nueva Jersey el tema de inmigración, COVID y el racismo son claves en esta elecciones (Español)
  • N.J. DACA recipients face uncertain future with outcome of 2020 presidential election (English)
  • El futuro de los beneficiarios del DACA y TPS está en las manos de los electores (Español)

Embed NJTV’s live election coverage

NJTV will be broadcasting live from Montclair State University on election night and they’ll be streaming it live on YouTube. Here’s the embed code you can use to put it on your site, if you want:

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/9O5PxhEc_Eg” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>


This story was written by NJ Spotlight News and is being made available for republication thanks to a content-sharing agreement facilitated by the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University. To get access to the folder with story, click here and send us a request.

The story is available in:


Download this graphic about how to return a mail-in ballot and use it on website stories, on Twitter and Facebook. Note it’s specially sized for Twitter and Facebook.


Download this PDF flyer about how to return a mail-in ballot and disseminate it however you wish. You can also convert the PDF to a PNG or a JPG and use it on your website, in a newsletter, etc., if you need a vertically-oriented graphic.


Download these graphics about how to return a mail-in ballot and use them for an Instagram post. There are six images in total, and when you post them on Instagram your readers can easily swipe through to read each step of the mail-in voting process.

We’ve also compiled a list of experts and sources who are willing to speak to reporters on the record about everything from voter registration to NJ election law. Click here to view the list on Google Docs.

If you have questions or would like to request additional content, drop us an email at [email protected].

Recordings from recent election webinars

Recent election stories from NJ News Commons partners