WEST WINDSOR – With a presidential election looming – and New Jersey poised to play a pivotal role in the nomination process during the June primary, for the first time in recent memory – a group of Mercer County Community College (MCCC) students decided it was time to get involved.
The new club, the MCCC Democrats, was inspired in part by the contentious presidential election cycle, according to, Daniel Hurley, president of the club. He said it is his goal to create a forum that could serve as a foundation for student involvement.
“College campuses have typically been a source of advocacy,” Hurley said. “We are already making history as the first community college chapter of the College Democrats of New Jersey, and we intend to continue making history through engaging young adults in positively impacting our community.”
Hurley said the club was created to organize and host forums for the speeches of public officials and to engage in student-led discussion regarding various current events. A recent meeting of the club featured Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, a freshman legislator who says he owes his election in November, in large part, to the involvement of young voters.
“My election was very much a grassroots election, and getting young people involved in the process is crucial,” Zwicker said. “I am fortunate to have the opportunity to speak in front of student groups. Size doesn’t matter.”
As an example of his support of involving young voters in the process, Zwicker said he has a bill pending in the legislature called the New Voter Empowerment Act. The bill would give young adults with an 18th birthday that falls before November, but after the June primary, the right to vote in the primary election.
“These people get no say in which of the Democratic or Republican candidates will be the nominee in November,” Zwicker said. “In a year where both parties have primary battles that will go down to the wire, New Jersey does not give our newest voters a full voice.”
Zwicker notes that 20 other states have already adopted similar measures.
“The New Voter Empowerment Act will get more young people involved in voting,” Zwicker said.
Hurley said hearing what Zwicker had to say about young voter involvement was a perfect complement to the mission of the club.
“Since the club is just getting started, it’s great to have a local leader to advocate a bill that will grow interest in voting at Mercer,” Hurley said.
Source: Mercer County Community College