Chapter 4: Securing the "Blessings of Liberty"

Voting Activity

Check out this timeline giving highlights of how Americans got the vote:

In 1971 Congress passed a bill that was approved by the states as the Twenty-Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution.  It gave citizens 18 years and older the right to vote.  Before then, you had to be 21 years old or older to vote. 

The change was made because young people pushed for it.  At the time, they were being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War.  They argued that if they were old enough to fight and maybe die for their country, they were old enough to vote.


Today, immigrants are enlisting in the US Army and fighting for the country.  Do you think they should have the right to vote?  Why or why not?

Can you make the case for the voting age being lowered to 16 or even younger?  What arguments would you make?

Copyright 2006, ACLU of Massachusetts