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We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

 

The preamble does not grant or restrict powers. It explains the purpose of the Constitution and sets the stage for the first seven articles and the first 10 amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, that follow.

 

The first three words of the preamble, “We the People,” may be the three most important words in the history of American democracy.

 

Today, we are concerned about assuring that qualified voters will take advantage of this privilege of being a citizen of the United States. You did not earn this right, you were born to it.

 

Congress proposed an amendment in 1971 that allows citizens of 18 years to vote. It states: 

Section 1

The rights 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 by any State on account of age. (Any American citizen that is 18 years of age or older may register to vote and participate in any election. They may not be stopped from voting due to their age.)

Section 2

The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. (Congress is tasked with preventing violations of the law that would prevent 18 year olds from voting or voting discrimination against voters due to their age.)

 

Our 26th amendment was granted at a time in history when young people of 18 could be drafted, but still not vote until they were 21. There were 500,000 of these young soldiers fighting in Vietnam in 1968, but only 52% voted in 1972. In 2008, the percentage was down to 49%.

 

Many people who are in the 18-21 year old range have relatives who fought in Vietnam. Pledge yourselves to honor their sacrifice, and vote! It is too late to register for this election, but if you are registered, study the candidates and vote Nov. 4.

 

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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