the 50th anniversary of the 26th Amendment
YOUTH VOTING & THE 26TH AMENDMENT
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.
HISTORY OF YOUTH SUFFRAGE
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.
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26th amendment RESOURCES
Use these resources to celebrate the 50th anniversary campaign throughout the year. Whether adding an activity to your course, incorporating a facilitation into a State Democracy Summit, sharing out social media content, or creating programming for Constitution Day (Sept. 17th), these tools will help you plan accordingly.
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 podcasts to help guide you.
Student Voting Network Podcast - The 26th Turns 50
National Constitution Center - We The People Podcast, The Story of the 26th Amendment
JMU Civic’s Democracy Matters Podcast - The 26th Amendment at 50: Racial Justice and Youth Political Power
Missed our July 1st #26thAmendment #SLSVChat celebrating the 50th anniversary, the 2021 Constitution Day festivities or our full Social Media Week of Action? Check them out here!
The Biden-Harris Administration shared a proclamation on the 50th Anniversary of the 26th Amendment. Check it out!
Want more information about the 26th Amendment Resources? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on resources provided on this page.
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!
CONTINUE THE WORK
This page was brought to you by the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition’s 26th Amendment Working Group.