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                                             Today@VOA
                                        No.918(March.10. 2020)
"On March 10, 1971, the U.S. Senate lowers the voting age from 21 to 18, which eventually becomes the 26th Amendment to the Constitution. " 
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The 26th Amendment-History, Art &Archives"
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The 26th Amendment-HISTORY"
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The 26th Amendment-Images"      
             
(The 19-6-line-photo-attached file/227.62KB/37.9KB/line)

Supreme Court Decision on the 26th Amendment

In the 1970 case Oregon v. Mitchell, the U.S. Supreme Court was tasked with reviewing the constitutionality of the provision. Justice Hugo Black wrote the majority decision in the case, which held that Congress did not have the right to regulate the minimum age in State and local elections, but only in federal elections. The issue left the Court seriously divided: Four justices, not including Black, believed Congress did have the right in state and local elections, while four others (again, not including Black) believed that Congress lacked the right even for federal elections, and that under the Constitution only the states have the right to set voter qualifications.

Under this verdict, 18- to 20-year-olds would be eligible to vote for president and vice president, but not for state officials up for election at the same time. Dissatisfaction with this situation–as well as public reaction to the protests of large numbers of young men and women facing conscription, but deprived of the right to vote–built support among many states for a Constitutional amendment that would set a uniform national voting age of 18 in all elections.

Passage, Ratification and Effects of the 26th Amendment

On March 10, 1971, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously in favor of the proposed amendment. After an overwhelming House vote in favor on March 23, the 26th Amendment went to the states for ratification. In just over two months–the shortest period of time for any amendment in U.S. history–the necessary three-fourths of state legislatures (or 38 states) ratified the 26th Amendment. It officially went into effect on July 1, 1971, though President Nixon signed it into law on July 5, 1971. At a White House ceremony attended by 500 newly eligible voters, Nixon declared: “The reason I believe that your generation, the 11 million new voters, will do so much for America at home is that you will infuse into this nation some idealism, some courage, some stamina, some high moral purpose, that this country always needs.”

Though newly minted young voters were expected to choose Democratic challenger George McGovern, an opponent of the Vietnam War, Nixon was reelected by an overwhelming margin–winning 49 states–in 1972. Over the next decades, the legacy of the 26th Amendment was a mixed one: After a 55.4 percent turnout in 1972, youth turnout steadily declined, reaching 36 percent in the 1988 presidential election. Though the 1992 election of Bill Clinton saw a slight rebound, voting rates of 18- to 24-year-olds remained well behind the turnout of older voters, and many lamented that America’s young people were squandering their opportunities to enact change. The 2008 presidential election of Barack Obama saw a voter turnout of some 49 percent of 18- to 24 year-olds, the second highest in history.

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