Vivek Ramaswamy Proposes Voting Requirements for 18-25-Year-Olds

Clark Atlanta University students register to vote following Civil rights icon the Rev. Jo
AP Photo/David Goldman), Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy supports new voting requirements for Americans aged 18-25, including that they pass a civics exam that naturalized citizens take or serve in the armed forces.

Ramaswamy’s campaign on Thursday announced his support for a new amendment establishing “Civic Duty Voting.”

The framework offers three avenues to vote once one turns 18, with one being six months of service in the United States military or as a first responder, such as a police officer or a firefighter. The second pathway is passing the same civics test that immigrants must take to become U.S. citizens.

“If you want to be 18 years, graduate from high school, and cast a ballot in this country at a young age, you better at least pass the civics portion of the test that immigrants have to pass to actually come to this country,” Ramaswamy said speaking at a campaign event in Urbandale, Iowa, on Thursday night.

If one chooses not to pursue either of these channels, he or she will have to wait until they turn 25 to vote.

“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,” Ramaswmy stated in a press release shared via email, adding:

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.

His campaign pledged that the amendment would not require the creation of yet another government agency. This would not be an initiative that Ramaswamy could accomplish with an executive order or through legislation signed into law. Rather it would require a constitutional amendment.


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