Despite increased youth voter turnout in the 2020 election, many young Americans still face obstacles to voting and making their voices heard. This is why the movement towards equal youth voting rights continues.
Expanding the youth vote is about more than just age. Today’s youngest generations are the most diverse in our country’s history, and achieving the full promise of the 26th Amendment goes hand-in-hand with striving for racial justice—and against voter suppression. Throughout the 50th anniversary of the 26th Amendment, we celebrate the youth vote, while recognizing that the voting barriers facing young people, and particularly college students, have prevented us from fulfilling the full promise of this landmark Amendment.
Explore this page to learn about the efforts underway to ensure all young people have easy and equal access to participate in every election, and how you can take part in creating an inclusive, just, and equitable democracy by taking action towards fulfilling the full promise of the 26th Amendment.
Young people have often been at the forefront of social change. During the Vietnam War, young Americans protested the fact that 18-year-olds were eligible for the military draft, but many could not vote. Their persistence, aided by the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, helped lead to the passage of the 26th Amendment in 1971, which lowered the national voting age to 18 and outlawed age discrimination in voting.
Workshop curriculum to help individuals or groups to construct an Op-Ed in support of the Student Voting Bill of Rights. Follow this step-by-step process on your own or with a facilitator to craft a strong working outline. Includes examples and guidance for placing a finished draft in a campus or professional news outlet. This is a great activity to use for a State Democracy Summit.
For educators who want to incorporate the story and significance of the 26th Amendment into their lessons, here are some materials to help guide you. Curriculum is currently being created, check back later for the link.
Want to join SLSV Coalition and its partners in an interactive, virtual campaign to spread awareness of the history, significance, and unfulfilled promise of the 26th Amendment?
Each week, partner organizations of the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition are sharing stories of how students are fulfilling the promise of the 26th Amendment and expanding voting access on their campus. This campaign started April 15th and will continue through the fall as we spotlight 26 outstanding student activists.
Check out past students that have been highlighted in the #26ForThe26th campaign, and visit the 26th Amendment Communications Toolkit to learn about the weekly Thursday posts!
This page was brought to you by the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition’s 26th Amendment Working Group.