America is celebrating the 26th Amendment anniversary. A new article from the Campaign Legal Center by Valencia Richardson notes that it should serve as a reminder of the importance of youth vote:
Congress proposed the 26th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to lower the voting age to 18 for all local, state, and federal elections on March 23, 1971. This victory affirmed the right of all legal adults to participate in the democratic process.
The 26th Amendment was borne of youth activism. At the height of the Vietnam War, young people fought to lower the voting age, protesting that 18-year-olds should be allowed to vote if they were forced into armed services.
In response, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act Amendments of 1970 to lower the voting age in all local, state, and federal elections. The Supreme Court, however, struck down these provisions of the 1970 amendments as to state and local elections in Oregon v. Mitchell, catalyzing the project of amending the Constitution to lower the voting age for all elections.
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