26th Amendment: Reduction of the Voting Age

As part of the National Constitution Center’s 27 Amendments (In 27 Days) project, each day we will look at a constitutional amendment. Through partnerships with leading scholars and universities, government agencies, media outlets, and more, the National Constitution Center will profile one amendment each day throughout the month of February.

voteFull Text of the 26th Amendment

Section 1. 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.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Synopsis:

During the Vietnam War, this amendment lowered the voting age in federal and state elections to 18, the same age at which young men could be drafted for military service.

Source: U.S. Senate

Resources:

1. The Library of Congress Constitution Annotated. Contains a detailed history of the amendment, along with past and recent court cases. Here is a link to the section on the 26th Amendment.

2. Cornell Legal Information Institute. Includes information from Wex, a free legal dictionary and encyclopedia sponsored and hosted by the Legal Information Institute at the Cornell Law School. Wex entries are collaboratively created and edited by legal experts.

Learn more about this project at the Constitution Center’s website at: constitutioncenter.org/experience/programs-initiatives/27-amendments-in-27-days/

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