Key Figures of the 26th Amendment

Adopting a new constitutional amendment is a complex process that involves many people. Explore the biographies of key figures in the passage of the 26th Amendment below!

Senator Birch Bayh

Birch Bayh (D- IN) served as a U.S. Senator from Indiana from 1962-1981.

Throughout his 18 years in the Senate, Senator Bayh was an architect of both the 25th and 26th Amendments, becoming the only other American since James Madison to draft more than one successful Constitutional Amendment.

Learn more about Senator Bayh here.

Senator Jennings Randolph

Senator Randolph (D – WV) is known as the “Father of the 26th Amendment” due to his dedication and commitment to lowering the voting age.

Senator Randolph introduced legislation eleven times during his tenure in the House of Representatives  and  Senate to lower the voting age from 21 to 18.

Learn more about Senator Randolph here.

President Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon served as the 37th President of the United States from 1969-1974.

Prior to the passage of the 26th Amendment, President Nixon signed an extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that extended the right to vote to require the voting age to be lowered to 18 in all states.

This opened the door to opposition, court battles, and ultimately opened the door for the proposal of the 26th Amendment.

Learn more about President Nixon here.