Common Cause Urges Passage of Youth Voting Rights Act

Group highlights youth voting on 26 Amendment Anniversary 

WASHINGTON — On the anniversary of the ratification of the 26th Amendment, Common Cause reaffirms its commitment to further protecting and expanding youth access to the ballot, urging Congress to pass the Youth Voting Rights Act of 2023. 

In 1971, during a time of anti-war sentiment, Common Cause led the campaign that won the 26th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, lowering the voting age from 21 and allowing 18-year-olds to vote. Today, its youth program, the Alliance for Emerging Power, continues to empower the voices of young people, equipping them with the tools and training to hold power accountable and serve as changemakers on their campus, in their community, and beyond.

Despite this progress, and though they are some of the most civically engaged voters, young people still face serious obstacles accessing the ballot. From a lack of accessible polling places to restrictive voting requirements, young people’s political power is disproportionately diminished at the polls across the nation. [Insert state-specific stat here, as applicable]. Legislation like the Youth Voting Rights Act will fulfill the promises of the 26th Amendment and ease many of these barriers plaguing young voters.

Statement from Ari Franco, youth engagement organizer for Common Cause:

“Our democracy works best when everyone has a fair and equal say in our future, and that means fairly honoring the voices and votes of young people.

Including younger voters in our democracy provides them with a means to hold elected officials accountable for their actions and inaction. From school shootings, to the cost of college, climate change, and more, young people are directly and deeply impacted by public policy decisions.

Common Cause is proud of our history helping to advance the 26th Amendment and the political power of young people. As we head toward another consequential election, we reaffirm our commitment to protecting and expanding young people’s access to the ballot. We urge Congress to pass meaningful legislation, like the Youth Voting Rights Act of 2023, so we can realize an empowered, reflective, and representative democracy for all.”

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