Rock the Vote Supports Reintroduction of the Youth Voting Rights Act

Washington, DC — Rock the Vote released the following statement on the reintroduction of The Youth Voting Rights Act to enforce the 26th Amendment and expand youth access to voting.

“Rock the Vote expresses its enthusiastic support for the reintroduction of The Youth Voting Rights Act by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Representative Nikema Williams (GA-05). Empowering young voters at the ballot box is not just a choice, but a testament to our belief in a democracy where every voice matters. 

As new voters, young voters are unfamiliar with the process of voting, which negatively impacts their rates of participation and, consequently, their representation in government. Yet, as youth voter turnout has steadily climbed in recent election cycles, so too have efforts to suppress their vote. College campuses carved into multiple districts; restrictive voter identification laws that do not allow for student IDs; and removing and banning polling places on college campuses are just a few examples of efforts specifically targeted to reduce young people’s growing political power.

Passed over thirty years ago, the 26th Amendment has yet to fulfill its intended purpose to empower young voters to be full participants in our democracy. From requiring states to offer pre-registration for 16 and 17-year-olds to guaranteeing student IDs are an acceptable form of voter IDs, codifying students’ rights to vote at their college campuses to requiring a polling place on college and university campuses, the Youth Voting Rights Act would have a profound effect on dismantling the unique barriers young people face and create an environment in which young citizens can exercise their right to vote with ease and confidence. 

This legislation is vital to youth voter participation. It is an obvious and necessary step toward building a stronger democracy. We commend the efforts to reintroduce the Youth Voting Rights Act and urge Congress to pass it.”

Rock the Vote has created a place for individuals to contact their members of Congress to support the legislation: