GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy advocates raising the voting age to 25, but still allowing 18-year-olds if they pass the civics test or perform military service
By Belle Carter // Jul 30, 2023

Biotech entrepreneur and a candidate in the 2024 Republican Party presidential primaries Vivek Ramaswamy posted on social media platform X, formerly called Twitter, to reiterate that America is a "constitutional republic," not a direct democracy. Thus, he is for amending the highest law of the land to increase the voting age from 18 to 25.

"We need to revive civic duty among young Americans… I'm for a constitutional amendment to raise the voting age from 18 to 25, but to still allow 18-year-olds to vote if they either pass the same civics test required of immigrants to become naturalized citizens, or else to perform six months of military or first responder service," he captioned his tweet.

The American Civics Test is an oral examination designed to assess the applicant's knowledge of U.S. history and government. It is administered to immigrants who are applying for American citizenship.

In the video he published, the "millennial candidate" was speaking to a woman, who was saying, "So many people have lost sight of the Constitution, and [they have to realize] that it is the only way back." Ramaswamy agreed and said, "It is the single greatest source of freedom in human history and we will not apologize for that." The woman praised his proposal saying only Ramaswamy had the guts to bring up "controversial" issues like the voting age. She straightforwardly told him how she refused to believe others' stand on this. She also did not agree when they said that the presidential candidate "shot himself in the foot" bringing this up.

The GOP presidential hopeful initially announced his Constitutional amendment push promoting "civic duty voting" back in May in a campaign event in Urbandale, Iowa, the news outlet AP reported.

"The United States faces a 25 percent recruitment deficit in the military and just 16 percent of Gen Z say they're proud to be American," he said in a statement. "The absence of national pride is a serious threat to our Republic's survival." He pointed out that at a time when young Americans are taught to celebrate their differences, civic duty voting creates a sense of shared purpose and experience. According to the conservative businessman's campaign website, while the Constitution prohibits discrimination based on race and gender, it does not 'expressly guarantee universal voting.' "Voting is a privilege, and civic duty is a proper precondition for enjoying that privilege," the site reads

He is aware that he is about to endeavor the difficult task of convincing Congress and state legislatures to support him as U.S. Constitution amendments require approval by two-thirds of Congress, as well as three-fourths of state legislators. Still, he insisted that his proposal "can create a sense of shared purpose and responsibility amongst young Americans to become educated citizens." As part of his proposal, Ramaswamy said that his plan would require no additional government bureaucracy to administer, saying debate generated by his proposal "will itself catalyze a long overdue conversation in America about what it means to be a citizen and how to foster civic pride in the next generation."

These past few years, Republicans have increasingly struggled with younger "woke" voters, particularly on issues such as the environment, LGBT ideologies, gun violence and much more.

Ramaswamy, 37, is the youngest candidate competing for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination in a field that already includes several candidates in their senior years, including former President Donald Trump and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Another presidential hopeful is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is a little older than him at 44 years old. (Related: Anti-woke presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy vaults into third place in Republican primary behind Trump and DeSantis.)

States began to move toward lowering their voting ages, following a call by President Dwight Eisenhower made in 1954. And in 1970, Congress amended the voting rights law, lowering the voting age in federal, state, and local elections to 18. Back then, some states filed a lawsuit against the federal government, arguing that the House had no jurisdiction over state voting ages, with which the Supreme Court agreed. A Constitutional amendment, which superseded any state laws with thresholds higher than age 18, was swiftly passed by Congress and ratified by three-quarters of states.

Visit for more updates on the campaign platforms of the 2024 GOP presidential hopefuls.

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