(1971)(26)United States Constitution

The 26th Amendment gave 18 year olds and older the right to vote nationwide in Federal Elections. Prior to this, like women’s suffrage before it, some states allowed 18 and up to vote, and some didn’t

States can’t deny the right to vote to persons over 18. It was the shortest amendment to ratify 93 months). Previously several states had already lowered the age to 18 (Georgia-1943), Kentucky (1955). But I no doubt that Vietnam and the movements surrounding it gave this Amendment the juice it needed to pass. Drafting 18 years olds who fought for policies and people they couldn’t vote for seemed unfair. Eighteen year olds could take all of the responsibilities of an adult without being allowed a voice.

But this had been a long time coming. A few states had already granted 18 year olds the right to vote in local elections and were trying to get it to Federal Elections as well.

In 1941 Harley Gilmore introduces the first congressional measure of its kind. In 1970 Ted Kennedy wanted to amend the Voting Rights Act to do this.

In 1970 Nixon signed the extension for lowering the age-and by then Hawaii and Alaska had already lowered the age.

The Twenty-Seventh Amendment

Carol Duhart’s Politics and Civics


The States and the Constitution

States and the Constitution


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