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The Story of the 26th Amendment

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age to 18. This week’s episode tells the fascinating story of the amendment—sparked by two wars and the idea of “old enough to fit, old enough to vote,” principally designed by two senators, and advocated for by countless young people, students, and civil rights activists. Host Jeffrey Rosen was joined by Jason “Jay” Berman, a longtime advisor to one of the principal architects of the 26th Amendment, U.S. Senator Birch Bayh, and Yael Bromberg, author of the article “Youth Voting Rights and the Unfulfilled Promise of the Twenty-Sixth Amendment.”

Special thanks to the 26th Amendment Collection, Modern Political Papers, Indiana University Libraries as well as the Youth Franchise Coalition and Project Vote 18 for the Birch Bayh audio at the top of the episode.

Additional resources and transcript available in our Media Library at constitutioncenter.org/constitution.

Questions or comments about the show? Email us at [email protected]

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The Story of the 26th Amendment