New Jersey’s Biggest City Grants Voting Rights To Minors

( – The Newark City Council recently changed local laws to grant 16 and 17-year-old minors the ability to vote for local school board members. The move was unanimously approved by the city council and was suggested by Council President LaMonica McIver. She said that she believed minors deserved representation.

McIver said that they were “expanding our democracy” by offering young people the right to participate.

The rule change suggested that the youths are a significant part of the community and participate in paying taxes, working, and driving vehicles. The statement reads that minors can also participate in protests, community volunteering, and making political contributions, and as such should be granted the ability to vote.

Newark is the largest city in New Jersey, making the move a curious experiment in allowing youths to participate in the electoral process. Councilman Lawrence Crump suggested that minors were “more mature” today than in previous generations, and suggested that the status quo was punishing youths for the failures of adults.

Councilman Dupre Kelly suggested that giving these specific voting rights to minors was just the beginning of expanding voting rights to under-aged children. Kelly implied that failure to include children in policy could have disastrous effects like rioting or otherwise engaging in antisocial behavior.

Only Councilman Carlos Gonzalez espoused any hesitancy or criticism of the move, suggesting that the next step is inviting minors to run for office. He also suggested that the age restrictions for voting aren’t arbitrary, and also that there’s a slippery slope where younger and younger children could be included.

Gonzelez said children lacked the “financial wisdom” to give input on a billion-dollar budget.

Councilman Michael Silva was concerned that the move doesn’t allow illegal minors to vote in local elections. Silva said he thought illegal alien minors from other countries living in America deserve to have their voices heard.

NJ Gov. Phil Murphy was fully on board with the move, demonstrating again that Democrats want to expand their voter base to include not only foreigners in the country illegally, but also children.

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