This is a relatively easy amendment to talk about as it simply is that people, ages 18 years or older, are allowed to vote.
The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
The amendments spend quite a few words on reminding us that we have the right to vote. Previous amendments have added that it doesn’t matter what our race, gender, or ability to pay fees are, we have the right to vote if we are an American Citizen. This Amendment adds that as long as an American citizen is of age (18), they have the right to vote.
This is important, because for many 18 year olds this year, their first opportunity will be to vote. If you are 18 (or new to voting) and wondering how to register and/or vote, here are a few links to help you out:
Register to Vote (USA.Gov)
This website can help answer your questions (including about Absentee Ballots, which may be important if you are going to college away from your polling area and can’t get back to vote on election day).
The link takes you to their page on registering, but it also has many informative pages on voting and elections.
This website allows you search and find out if you are registered to vote. I tried it out and it sent me to my state’s services which told me I am registered (although apparently not to the party I thought I was.
The Voting Information Project
This website is put together by a group of organizations including Google, and state governments to help gather information to help voters inform themselves on items they find on their ballots.
You can also google your state and voting information to find out information that specific to your states. Remember that some states (like my own) have Voter ID laws and other such specifications on how you register and/or verify your vote.
The first step to changing the way your government does things is to participate in voting. On average, only 60% of eligible voters actually participate during Presidential elections. Its even less during midterm elections (about 40%) and even less than that when you are in between those two election years. We can’t complain about not being heard when we don’t take advantage of what is already there to hear us.
Please register to vote and take advantage of your right to participate in your government.
And you can always listen to Martin Sheen: