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Vivek Ramaswamy is announcing his support for a constitutional amendment to implement Civic Duty Voting amongst Americans aged 18-25. In substance, this amendment will increase the standard voting age to 25, while still allowing all Americans to vote at age 18 if they meet a national service requirement (at least 6 months in the military or a first responder role) or pass the same civics test required of naturalized citizens. Mr. Ramaswamy will provide the rationale and detail for this proposal during an evening rally at Urbandale, Iowa.

“Our military currently suffers a 25% recruitment deficit, and only 16 percent of Gen Z say they’re proud to be American. The absence of national pride is a serious threat to the future of our country,”  said Vivek Ramaswamy. “We must think ambitiously about reviving civic duty in America. In 1971 the 26th Amendment lowered the voting age to age 18 following a mandatory military draft, and tying voting to civic commitments has long been part of our national culture. Civic Duty Voting can create a sense of shared purpose and responsibility amongst young Americans to become educated citizens.”

No additional government bureaucracy is required to administer Civic Duty Voting. The Civic Duty Voting exam would be identical to one required of law-abiding green card holders prior to obtaining citizenship. The 6-month service requirement offers an alternative to the Civic Duty Voting exam. Both requirements fall away at age 25 – the same age by which young male adults are required under current U.S. law to complete Selective Service registration.

Civic Duty Voting would require a Constitutional Amendment for passage which requires the support of two-thirds of legislators in both Chambers of Congress and three-fourths of state legislators. This hurdle is appropriately high: the process of debating the merits of a proposed Amendment will itself catalyze a long overdue conversation in America about what it means to be a citizen and how to foster civic pride in the next generation:

  • Voting will remain open to citizens starting from the age of 18
  • At age 18, Americans will have three paths to vote:

○ 6 months of direct service in the U.S. military or first response services (police, fire, etc)

○ Pass a civic education test identical to the U.S. citizenship exam for naturalized citizens

○ Wait until age 25

Author: Press Release


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