The 26th Amendment

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The 26th Amendment

The 26th Amendment

The Twenty-sixth Amendment was proposed on March 23, 1971, and ratified on July 1, 1971.

The long debate over lowering the voting age in America from 21 to 18 began during World War II and intensified during the Vietnam War, when young men denied the right to vote were being conscripted to fight for their country. In the 1970 case Oregon v. Mitchell, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress had the right to regulate the minimum age in federal elections, but not at the state and local level.

The 26th amendment states: SECTION 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age. SECTION 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


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