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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.
Citizens who are 18 years old may now vote. The United States or any State cannot deny anyone the right to vote based on age.
Congress has the power to enforce this amendment by law.
|The Right to Vote for Citizens Eighteen Years of Age and Older||Important Cases|
|During the Vietnam War, many societal issues came to the forefront of national politics. Among them was the seemingly contradictory notion that individuals 18 years of age and older could be drafted and sent to fight a war, but were not necessarily guaranteed the right to vote.|
In response to this apparent injustice, Congress passed legislation which added to the Voting Rights Act (which had originally been put into place to remedy racial inequalities and voting). This new law guaranteed the right to vote for 18 year old citizens in all federal and state elections. This law, however, contradicted other laws in some states. While the federal government could set its own minimum voting age, these states argued that it could not force states to set such requirements for state elections. In Oregon v. Mitchell 1970, the Supreme Court agreed. It held that Oregon did not have to adhere to the new law for state elections (but it would have had to go along with the requirement for federal elections that took place in Oregon, which is logistically difficult).
The holding of Mitchell was not long the law, however. Within the year, the 26th Amendment was ratified. The text of the amendment states as follows:
|Oregon v. Mitchell (1970)|