Zwicker Voting Rights Legislation Clears Committee

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker that would allow more young New Jersey residents to participate in elections was advanced by an Assembly committee on Monday.

The bill (A-3591), the “New Voter Empowerment Act,” would allow 17-year-olds to vote in a primary election provided they will turn 18 on or before the next succeeding general election.

“Young people in New Jersey are eager to raise their voices and make a difference,” said Zwicker (D-Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex/Somerset). “Barring voters who will be able to participate in a general election from taking part in the primary beforehand unjustifiably dampers that enthusiasm. We can’t have two categories of voters in our state. If you can vote in a general election, you should be eligible to vote in the primary.”

New Jersey would join 21 states and the District of Columbia in allowing 17-year-olds who will turn 18 during the interim period between a primary or caucus and the general election to participate in the nomination process, Zwicker noted.

          The legislation was advanced by the Assembly Judiciary Committee.


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