Ryan Haygood, a civil rights lawyer who lives in Newark and runs the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, characterized the effort to give younger teens the right to vote as a racial justice effort.
“We’re not waiting for democracy to trickle down from Washington, D.C.,” Mr. Haygood said.
His organization, one of the main groups that have pushed for lowering Newark’s voting age, has gotten requests from other large New Jersey cities, including Atlantic City, Camden, Jersey City and Trenton, for guidance on how to win support for a 16-year-old vote, he said. And on Tuesday, Gov. Philip D. Murphy, a Democrat, also offered key backing in his State of the State address for a proposal to not only permit — but require — the state’s more than 500 communities to allow 16-year-olds to vote in school board races.