Voting at 16: Will the rest of NJ follow Newark’s lead?

Sixteen- and 17-year-olds will soon be able to vote in school board elections in Newark, giving them more say over what happens in their schools.

Newark City Council voted unanimously to approve the ordinance Wednesday, enfranchising more than 7,000 new voters, 90% of them Black and brown. Newark is the largest city in the country to take such a step.

The move is part of a recent push to expand voting rights to young people in New Jersey. Gov. Phil Murphy expressed support for allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in school board elections across the state during his State of the State address Tuesday. In Newark, students, advocates and councilmembers said they hope the state’s largest city is the first of many to let more students vote in local elections.

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