The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• Richard Nixon
Statement About Ratification of the 26th Amendment to the Constitution
June 30, 1971

TONIGHT Ohio's Legislature ratified the 26th Amendment to the Constitution. This Amendment guarantees the right of 18-year-old persons to vote in State and local, as well as Federal, elections. It appears that 38 States have now ratified the Amendment that will now become a part of the law of the land.

Some 11 million young men and women who have participated in the life of our Nation through their work, their studies, and their sacrifices for its defense, are now to be fully included in the electoral process of our country.
For more than 20 years, I have advocated the 18-year-old vote. I heartily congratulate our young citizens on having gained this right.

The ratification of this Amendment has been accomplished in the shortest time of any amendment in American history. This fact affirms our Nation's confidence in its youth and its trust in their responsibility. It also reinforces our young people's dedication to a system of government whose Constitution permits ordered change.

I urge them to honor this right by exercising it--by registering and voting in each election.

Citation: Richard Nixon: "Statement About Ratification of the 26th Amendment to the Constitution", June 30, 1971. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.
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