New Jersey will allow 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections, starting in 2026

Voting is an exciting first for 18-year-olds in the United States. But, like in most states, New Jersey teens who turn 18 between the primary and general elections haven’t had a say over who from their party ends up on the ballot.

That will change come Jan. 1, 2026, when the New Voter Empowerment Act takes effect. Signed by Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday, the law will allow 17-year olds to vote in primary elections as long as they turn 18 on or by the following general election.

The effort, which dates back to 2020 in the state legislature, was sponsored by 11 Democrats and one Republican — Rep. Aura Dunn, of Morris County.