Lowering the Voting Age

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Dear New Jersey Institute for Social Justice friend,

Whether it’s gun safety, LGBTQIA+ rights, climate – or simply the ability to be taught the truth about America’s history around racism and slavery – young people are directly affected every day by school board and municipal policies.

We know they care because we see them speaking out every day.

They are passionate. They are savvy. And they are concerned.

Yet these very same young people have no voice in choosing the representatives who decide the policies that affect their lives, their futures and the world around them that they and their loved ones will inherit.

We can change that.

As we explain in our newly released report, Let Us Vote: Why 16- and 17-Year Olds Should Be Allowed to Vote in Local Elections and Beyond, lowering the voting age to include 16- and 17-year-olds in local and school board elections can foster a more inclusive and representative democracy – and give young people a political voice.

Lowering the voting age is constitutional and it is doable.

It will also get young people – who are more diverse than older generations – in the habit of voting and create new generations of lifelong voters who will be civically engaged and safeguard our democracy.

The Institute will be working with partners across the state – including with young people – to bring younger voting to municipalities around New Jersey. We look forward to working with you, our supporters, on this Vote16NJ journey.

In the meantime, read our new report here.

Thank you, as always, for your support.

You can donate to the Institute here and take action on important social justice issues here.


Micauri Vargas

Associate Counsel, Democracy & Justice Program, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice