What is the 26th Amendment?

Ratified 50 years ago, on July 1, 1971, the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution extended the right to vote to all Americans aged 18 and older by lowering the federal voting age from 21. Section 1 of the 26th Amendment reads as follows:

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.

What led to the passage of the 26th Amendment?

In 1942, in the midst of World…

Rock the Vote commends the jury in State v. Chauvin for shining light on the truth, which is that ex-police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd in nine minutes and 39 seconds.

We mourn for those who knew George Floyd, especially for his daughter, Gianna Floyd whose father was taken from her by a police officer when she was just 6-years-old.

We uplift the heroic actions of then 17-year-old Darnella Frazier, who boldly documented the final moments of Floyd’s life that enabled the world to bear witness to his murder and ultimately reignited what would become the largest movement the…

Three months after the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, enhanced security and barricades serve as a physical reminder of the ongoing threats to our democratic institutions. While alarming and tragic, isolated incidents of individual attacks and security breaches in and around government buildings are not unheard of; it is rare that an isolated incident results in the death of an officer as it did on April 2, 2021.

In contrast, the January 6th coordinated attack was unprecedented and authorities were unprepared to protect one of our most significant buildings while one of our most important democratic procedures was…

Today, marks one year since Breonna Taylor was killed by a police officer in her own home. The murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop, and a list of countless others too long to fathom — would be the spark that reignited what would become the largest civil rights movement that Millennial and Generation Z youth would witness to date.

The Black Lives Matter protests against gross racial injustices would ring from the mouths of millions in protest, not just across the United States, but the world.

Today, we remember Breonna Taylor. We mourn for her family…

In Selma, Alabama in 1965, civil rights activists were brutally beaten by police officers while they marched peacefully from Selma to Montgomery in protest against the racist voter suppression perpetuated by the state of Alabama and beyond. The state troopers’ violent assault on the Black activists shocked the nation and would be remembered as Bloody Sunday.

What was the Freedom March?

The Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964; however, in Selma, Alabama in 1963, just 2 percent of eligible Black voters had been allowed to register to vote. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) tried to register Black voters…

What is H.R. 1 / S. 1?

H.R. 1, the “For the People Act” proposes a sweeping set of reforms to election administration and security, voting access, redistricting, and campaign finance to expand Americans’ access to the ballot box and fight corruption. All of these reforms will ultimately improve the way our democracy works for everyone. Rock the Vote and many other voting rights advocacy organizations support the For the People Act as a major step toward a more fair, truer, and representative democracy.

Federal legislation on elections and voting rights has been critical to making our democracy more reflective…

Nearly five million people — residents of Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the other U.S. territories — are taxpaying U.S. citizens that have fundamentally different voting rights and representation in government than residents of the 50 states.

What are the U.S. territories?

Similar to states, territories of the United States are sub-national administrative divisions overseen by the U.S. government. The United States has held territories throughout its history. In fact, many current states started off as territories before they were granted statehood. Hawaii and Alaska were the last two territories to become states — both in 1959. Currently, the United…

What is the 14th Amendment?

Ratified in 1868, the 14th Amendment was the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution in the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War. It provided for the rights and protections for formerly enslaved persons; sought to address the rights of those involved in the rebellion against the United States; and established protections against future insurrections. Former Confederate states were required to ratify it to gain representation in Congress. As such, it included:

Section 1:

  • The Citizenship Clause: Defined citizenship as all persons born or naturalized in the United States to include formerly enslaved people;
  • The Equal…

What is impeachment?

Impeachment is a constitutional process used to remove a president or other federal official from office. The reasons for impeachment given in Section 4 of Article 2 of the Constitution are “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

The Constitution bestows the “sole power of impeachment” upon the House of Representatives (the House), and the power to “try all impeachments” upon the Senate. This means the House details the charges and offenses for removing an individual from office in a written statement called the articles of impeachment. These articles collectively are similar to an indictment in a common criminal…

What is the 25th Amendment?

Ratified in 1967 following the assassination of President Kennedy, the 25th Amendment to the Constitution established the Presidential line of succession; set forth a process by which the Vice President could temporarily take over as Acting President; and created a means for the President to be removed from office if he/she/they became unfit to serve. Paragraph 1 of Section 4 reads as follows:

“Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro…

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Building political power for young voters

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