Profile America: Youth Voting Comes of Age

Voting Booths


Saturday, July 1 — On this date 46 years ago, the sun set on our old concept of coming of age. The 26th amendment to the Constitution became law effective July 1, lowering the age requirement for voting in national elections from 21 to 18 years old.

In 1972, the amendment added some 11 million voters to the electorate. Today, there are over 13.1 million young Americans ages 18 to 20. In the 2012 presidential election, more than 41 percent of voters ages 18 to 24 went to the polls, down from nearly 49 percent four years earlier.

In the 2014 congressional election, only some 4.7 million of those age 24 and younger voted, out of 92 million ballots cast nationwide.

You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online here.

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