Law & Justice

Press Releases

Assembly Democratic Bill to Expand Primary Voting Rights, Encourage Youth Participation in Elections Gets OK to Advance

7a63470aca60301a1f6b_Assemblyman_Tim_Eustace.jpg
Credits: Assemblyman Tim Eustace
7a63470aca60301a1f6b_Assemblyman_Tim_Eustace.jpg

Assembly Panel Approved Legislation Would Allow Certain 17-Year-Olds to Vote in Primaries

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Andrew Zwicker, Jamel Holley, Tim Eustace, Arthur Barclay, Angela McKnight and Raj Mukherji that would allow more young New Jersey residents to participate in elections cleared its first legislative hurdle Thursday with an approval by the Assembly State and Local Committee.

The bill (A-1521), 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.

Sign Up for E-News

“Young people in New Jersey are eager to raise their voices and make a difference,” said Zwicker (D-Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex/Somerset). “More than 23,000 of them will have a birthday after the primary but before the general election. Under this legislation, they would be able to vote in both elections. It's an important step forward to fully empower thousands of new voters every year.”

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.

“There’s a whole set of young people in New Jersey who want to – and should – fulfill their civic duty during the general election but are shut out of making their voices heard during the primary,” said Holley (D-Union). “Allowing 17-year-old New Jersey residents who ultimately will choose a candidate in the general election to vote in the primary will make the electoral process more fair.”

“As a matter of principle, all eligible voters should be able to take part in both the primary and the general election,” said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). “This legislation will make that basic notion the law in New Jersey.”

          “Those who turn 18 in between a primary and a general election are expected to participate in one part of the democratic process but are excluded from another very important part entirely,” said Barclay (D-Camden/Gloucester). “New Jersey must ensure that these young voters have a say in both June and November.”

          “It’s important for our state to establish a culture of voting in both primaries and general elections among young people,” said McKnight (D-Hudson). “Making this simple change will enable thousands more first-time voters to get involved in elections.”

“Increasing voter turnout is integral to ensuring that all voices are heard and all people are represented in our democracy,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “If 17-year-olds are allowed to enlist and serve in the Armed Forces with parental consent or upon emancipation, then they should certainly be allowed to participate in selecting party nominees when they will turn 18 in time to vote for that nominee.”

         The bill will now be considered for a floor vote by the Assembly Speaker.  

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Hawthorne

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey

July 12, 2018

How often do you read TAPinto?  Have you downloaded the TAPinto APP?  These are a few of the questions for readers in our 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

We want to hear from you!

The survey will take less than five minutes to complete and will help TAPinto better serve you. 

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

Thank you.  We appreciate your support and ...

Police Blotter - July 11, 2018

July 10, 2018

July 1, 2018, 8:22 p.m. – Francis Amore of Hawthorne reported a theft at his house.  Approx $25,000.00 in cash was missing from a second floor bedroom.  He stated no one had keys and there was no sign of forced entry.  The case is being investigated by the Detective Bureau.

June 30-July 2, 2018 - 121 Wagaraw Road.  Verdi Landscaping of Hawthorne reported an unknown ...

Who Let the Dogs Out? Passaic County K-9 Unit Wows Children and Seniors

July 2, 2018

TOTOWA, NJ- With schoolchildren, senior citizens, and law enforcement all in one room any politician would have been thrilled to take part in Thursday’s cross generational event in Totowa that featured a reading of children’s book “Roscoe the K-9 Cop,” authored by Kristen Sondej, and several members of the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_7611ce284a8c86d65b64_37d34f9a-c5cd-4fb1-8bf8-b5b7319cb94e

Wed, July 18, 10:00 AM

Paterson Board of Education , Paterson

Teacher Job Fair

Education

Carousel_image_2f36b58b33dfcc6ae878_mini_magick20180501-86519-a2qs4y

Thu, July 19, 7:00 PM

North Haledon Free Public Library, North Haledon

Chair Yoga with Gianna Wozney

Community Calendar Health & Wellness