The Students Learn Students Vote Coalition commends the Biden Administration for their proclamation recognizing the 50th anniversary of the 26th Amendment, which lowered the national voting age to 18 for all elections, and prohibited age discrimination in voting. The Administration’s recognition of this momentous occasion in our country’s history, and their overall support for youth suffrage, reaffirms our country’s core democratic values.
Every voting expansion in our country’s history has been achieved through struggle and extraordinary activism – and the 26th Amendment is no exception. The lowering of America’s voting age came about on the heels of the youth protest and Civil Rights movements of the 1960’s and 1970’s, at a time when many young Americans were asked to serve in the US Armed Forces before they were old enough to elect the leaders who decided where our military was deployed.
The ratification of the 26th Amendment gave millions of young people a newfound voice in our government, but its promise remains unfulfilled. Throughout the country young voters and student voters face disproportionate legal and psychological barriers to participating in our democracy.
The significant gains in youth voter turnout during the 2020 election were achieved thanks largely to the organizing and activism of today’s generation of young voters, who honor the legacy of previous movements as the most diverse, and among the most socially conscious, generations in our country’s history. Their work in 2020, on campus and in communities throughout the US, was a major reason why the last election was the most participatory in modern American history – and why young people will continue to shape our American democracy for years to come.
About the SLSV Coalition
The Students Learn Students Vote (SLSV) Coalition is the national hub and largest nonpartisan network in the United States dedicated to increasing college student voter participation. The Coalition convenes and connects partners, campuses, and students with each other and with resources and programming towards achieving a vision of ensuring that every student has easy and equal access to participate in every election. They use data, relationships, celebration, and easy-to-follow planning structures, to help campus and local leaders register and turnout more student voters every year. The SLSV Coalition is a project of the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. NCoC is strictly nonpartisan, and does not support or oppose any candidate or party.