The Parkersburg News and Sentinel
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Secretary of State has organized a 50th anniversary commemoration of the 1971 passage of the 26th Amendment to the United States Constitution that lowered the voting age from 21 to 18.
Secretary of State Mac Warner will invite legislators, dignitaries and the media on March 23 for the kick-off of the state’s commemoration of the amendment. Warner on March 23 also will present the first John Lewis Youth Leadership Award to a deserving West Virginian. The National Association of Secretaries of State hosts the award.
The origin of the 26th Amendment was during World War II when President Franklin D. Roosevelt, facing a need for more soldiers, in November 1942 lowered the eligibility age for the draft from 21 to 18. Rep. Jennings Randolph of West Virginia, a native of Harrison County, said the voting age should be lowered to 18 if the draft age was lowered to 18, too.
“If you’re old enough to fight and give your life for your country, then you’re old enough to vote,” Randolph said…