Today, the Student PIRGs applauded the Biden Administration for their proclamation recognizing the 50th anniversary of the 26th Amendment, which lowered the national voting age to 18 for all elections. This is a huge recognition of the power of the youth vote and is due to the continued work of student activists across the country mobilizing their peers to vote which led to HISTORIC youth voter turnout in 2020!
To celebrate this landmark anniversary, the Student PIRGs joined coalition partners across the country to uplift the youth vote, while recognizing that the barriers facing young people, particularly college students, have prevented us from fulfilling the full promise of the 26th Amendment.
Expanding the youth vote is about more than just age. Today’s youngest generations are the most diverse in our country’s history, and achieving the full promise of the 26th Amendment is essential to building a truly representative, vibrant democracy.
In the Proclamation it states, “Younger voters are not waiting to inherit the future; they are building the future themselves.” Here at The Student PIRGs, we couldn’t agree more.
Young people around the country, on college campuses and in communities throughout the US, are doing extraordinary work to lead movements of democratic participation and civic engagement. Our work is helping transform our democracy for the better.
Continuing the momentum from the fall, students organized locally to ensure 2020’s historic turnout rates are just the beginning of a longer trend of youth voter engagement. Student leaders worked with their vote coalitions to solidify best practices from the fall by running trainings for faculty, institutionalizing effective vote policies with local election officials, and ran effective campaigns on issues affecting their communities.
This summer, we joined forces with our partners at CIRCLE, The SLSV Coalition, The Andrew Goodman Foundation, and The NAACP Youth and College Division to celebrate the 26th Amendment and plan for the future. Leading up to the Biden Administration’s Proclamation, our student leaders worked with local elected officials to issue city and town proclamations in states like Virginia, Georgia, Texas and more.
We are excited to continue working with our campus vote coalitions, community partners, and election officials to ensure every citizen is able to participate in democracy. While youth voter engagement and turnout is at an all time high, we are continuing the work to fulfill the full promise of the 26th Amendment and ensure full voter participation.
Read the White House Proclamation here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/06/30/a-proclamation-on-the-50th-anniversary-of-the-26th-amendment/