​Zwicker Bill To Allow Some 17-Year-Olds To Vote In Primaries Advances

December 8, 2023

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Lawmakers in New Jersey have advanced a bill by Sen. Andrew Zwicker (NJ-16) that allows some 17-year-old teens t vote in the primary election.

The bill passed the State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee.

The bill, co-sponsored by Sen. James Beach, allows 17-year-olds to vote in the primary election if the voter turns 18 before the general election.


“In order to continue to keep our democracy vibrant, and to ensure its legacy for our children and grandchildren, we must devise voting systems that are relevant in the 21st Century, and that are practical and as accessible as possible to young voters,” said Zwicker, a resident of South Brunswick.

Currently, teens who are at least 17 can register to vote if they turn 18 on or by the date of the general election. This bill will allow them to vote in a primary, provided they turn 18 on or before the date of the next general election.


“Many teens look forward to voting in their first election but as it stands if they are turning 18 between June and November they don’t get a say in who’s on the ballot,” Sen. Beach (D-Camden/Burlington), said in a statement.

“By allowing these 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections we are allowing them to weigh in on which candidates they want representing their party in the general election, just like everyone else they will be voting alongside in November.”


Eighteen states as well as the District of Columbia have already enacted such a change. The bill cleared the full Assembly last May, by a vote of 51-24.

The Senate bill S-1888 advanced with a 4-0 vote.