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Majority Of House Democrats Vote To Let 16-Year-Olds Vote For President

A majority of House Democrats voted Wednesday to lower the federal voting age from 18 to 16.

A number of high-profile Democrats voted in favor of the legislation, including California Reps. Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, Maxine Waters and Ted Lieu, Hawaii Rep. and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) introduced the legislation Tuesday evening as an amendment to House Democrats’ “For The People Act,” (H.R. 1) which would overhaul federal election laws and would require a Constitutional amendment to implement.

Section 1 of the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states:

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The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age.

The change ultimately failed to pass thanks to a split Democratic vote and near-unanimous Republican opposition.

Democrats voted 125-108 in favor of Pressley’s amendment, with two members voting present and three members not voting while House Republicans voted against the amendment 197-1. Texas Rep. Michael Burgess was the only Republican to vote aye.

Pressley cited teen activists pushing for gun control as a reason to give 16-year-olds the right to vote, which she compared to having a driver’s license.

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“Young people are at the forefront of some of our most existential crises,” she said in her remarks Tuesday. “The time has come. Our young people deserve to have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.”

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