What is The 26th Amendment?

AMERICANS are allowed to vote at the age of 18.

This voting age is thanks to the 26th Amendment that was passed by Congress on March 23, 1971.

What is The 26th Amendment?

The 26th Amendment is the reason why those who are 18-years-old can vote in the United States.

The amendment states: "The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age."

Prior to the signing of the 26th Amendment, the legal age of voting was 21-years-old.

It was former President Richard Nixon who certified the amendment and signed it into law back in July of 1971.

Why was the voting age lowered?

Former West Virginia Senator Jennings Randolph proposed the amendment back in 1971 after an increase in demand to lower the legal voting age.

During the 1960s, many demanded the age be lowered because back then, at the age of 18, Americans were considered old enough to get married, work, pay taxes, and fight in the war.

The slogan ''old enough to fight, old enough to die," gained popularity during the Vietnam War as the average age of U.S soldiers was 19.

Did American's want the voting age lowered even more?

As 2021 marked the 50th anniversary of the signing of the 26th Amendment, like before, many American's started demanding the age be lowered to 16.

The new slogan, "old enough to pay income taxes, old enough to vote," says Anjali Krishnamurti, who is part of an organization called Vote 16 USA.

"Sixteen- and 17-year-olds should be able to vote because we are involved in the issues that come across America," Krishnamurti said in a July 2021 interview with NPR. "We have to sit there and watch it without any representation, even though we are so civically engaged."

The last constitutional amendment was passed in 1992 and there has been no word from Congress if the voting age will be lowered again, any time soon.

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