GOP hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy says voting age should be raised to 25

Those who wish to vote when they are 18 would have to do 6 months civic service or pass a civics test.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy will announce a proposal on Thursday that would act as an amendment to the United States Constitution and raise the national voting age from 18 to 25, according to Fox News.

Ramaswamy, a 37-year-old author and entrepreneur, told the network that he thinks raising the national voting age will create a more informed population of voters and will make voting seen as a "true privilege" in the US.

However, Ramaswamy said that the current constitutional voting age would still apply to Americans that are able to pass the civics test immigrants take when becoming citizens, as well as those that serve their country as either a first responder or in the military.

He plans to make the announcement on the campaign trail in Iowa during a Thursday rally with Gov. Kim Reynolds (R), according to Fox News.

"We’re going to be talking about this to a large audience of actually young people in Iowa," Ramaswamy said. "Gov. Kim Reynolds is going to be there tomorrow. There was going to be the perfect place to roll this out tomorrow night to lay out one of the most, I think, bluntly, ambitious proposals we’ve rolled out in this campaign."

"Which is to say that we want to restore civic duty in the mindset of the next generation of Americans. And how we want to do it is to say that, if you want to vote as an 18-year-old, between the ages of 18 and 25, you need to either do your civic duty through service to the country – that’s six months of service in either military service or as a first responder, police, fire or otherwise – or else you have to pass the same civics test an immigrant has to pass in order to become a naturalized citizen who can vote in this country."

"At age 25, that falls away," Ramaswamy added.

Ramaswamy told the network that his proposal will supercede the 26th Amendment which set the national voting age to 18 on the grounds that "if you're going to have a draft, military draft, that brings 18-year-olds in, then they ought to have the right to vote."

"Which, actually said, that this is a relatively familiar notion to us, tying the voting age back then to the age that you could be drafted in the military says that there's a deep and this is a long-standing tradition in our country, tying civic duties to the privileges of citizenship," Ramaswamy said.

He wants to see a more informed voting population and would like Americans to pass a basic civics test if they want to vote before the age of 25.

"We literally require people to pass that test to vote today," Ramaswamy said. "If you're an immigrant, I'd say the same thing applies if you're an 18-year-old who graduates from high school who wants to vote."

"But you don't have to do it that way," he continued. "You could also do it by doing a minimal amount of service to the country."

Ramaswamy believes that the proposal will increase voter turnout, hoping it will make elections seen as a "privilege."

"I think we will make it more desirable to vote by actually adding more meaning to the act of voting rather than just emotion that people go through or are accustomed to going through. And I think that will actually be positive for our civic culture. And I also think that this can be unifying. Whether you're the kid of a billionaire in the Upper East Side of Manhattan or whether you're the daughter of a single mother in the inner city, it doesn't matter," he told Fox News.

"You have the same requirements to be part of the special group of people at a young age who get to participate in deciding who governs the country. And I think that restores a sense of civic equality and a sense of civic duty that we have long missed in our country," he concluded.


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