Amendment 26

  • Earliest Calls for Change

    Earliest Calls for Change
    The earliest calls for changing the voting age were brought to attention in the 1940s. West Virginia congressman Jennings Randolph greatly supported lowering the age with support and congressional proposals endorsed by First Lady Elanor Roosevelt.
  • Draft Age was lowered

    Draft Age was lowered
    On November 11, 1942, the minimum draft age was lowered to 18. Which soon came the slogan "Old enough to fight, old enough to vote". After the loss of Congress failed to pass any legislation, but not soon after, a movement grew.
  • First State to Lower Their Age.

    First State to Lower Their Age.
    Ellis Gibbs Arnall was the 69th Governor of Georgie from 1943 to 1947 and served an important roll showing efforts to abolish the poll tax and lower voting age to 18. Which soon cause a domino like effect with other states.
  • First Pres. to Publicly Voice his Support

    First Pres. to Publicly Voice his Support
    Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first president to publicly voice his support for the idea of a constitutional amendment lowering the minimum voting age to 18. Eisenhower stated, "For years our citizens between the ages 18 and 21 have, in time of peril, been summoned to fight for America. They should participate in the political process that produces his fateful summons". After he showed his support, it gave the young Americans hope that there would be change in the future.
  • All 21, except two.

    All 21, except two.
    Every state entered the union with the voting age of 21, besides Alaska and Hawaii. When Alaska and Hawaii joined in 1959, they joined with their voting age being 18 (Alaska) and 20 (Hawaii).
  • The Uproar from the Vietnam War

    The Uproar from the Vietnam War
    In the late 1960s, during the Vietnam War, there were marches and demonstrations put in place to get lawmaker's attention toward the hypocrisy of drafting men who lacked the right to vote. In 1969, no fewer than 60 resolutions were brought to Congress to promote the new voting age. Though Richard M Nixon signed the bill into law, he issued a statement declaring it unconstitutional. Although favoring the law, he believed that Congress had no power and would require a constitutional amendment.
  • Voting Rights Act

    Voting Rights Act
    In 1970, Ted Kennedy, a Senator, proposed amending the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to reduce the voting age to 18 nationally.
  • Supreme Court Decides on the 16th Amendment

    Supreme Court Decides on the 16th Amendment
    In 1970, Justice Hugo Black wrote that the majority decision in the case concluded that Congress didn't have the right to regulate the minimum age in state and local elections, but only in federal elections. Four justices believed Congress did have the right, while the other four believed that Congress lacked the right even for federal elections and that under the constitution, left the states having the right to set voter qualifications.
  • Ratification of the 26th Amendment

    Ratification of the 26th Amendment
    After the overwhelming House vote on March 23, the 26th Amendment went to the states for ratification. With this amendment being the shortest period for any amendment in U.S. history, in just over two months, the needed three-fourths of state legislature ratified the 26th amendment.
  • Officially being an Amendment

    Officially being an Amendment
    The 26th Amendment officially took effect on July 1, 1971, even though President Nixon signed it into law on July 5, 1971. A ceremony was then held and attended by 500 newly eligible voters, bringing what Nixon would call "Some idealism, some courage, some stamina, some high moral purpose, that this country always needs."