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054 How old do citizens have to be to vote for President?

访问量:
54. How old do citizens have to be to vote for President?
Answer:
Eighteen (18) and older

Explanation:
Americans have many rites of passage (or important things that one does to move from one phase of one’s life to another phase) when becoming adults. One rite of passage is getting a driver’s license when they turn 16. Another rite of passage is being able to drink alcohol when they turn 21. And of course, at age 18 they can begin voting for the president of the United States. But this wasn’t always true.

In the past, each state was able to set (or establish) its own voting age. Most states had a voting age of 21, but five states had younger voting ages. As the Vietnam War was being fought, there was a lot of pressure (or the feeling of needing to do something) to standardize (or to make the same) the voting age for the entire (or whole) country. Many young men who were only 18 years old were being conscripted (or forced to join the Army) to fight in the Vietnam War. These men were angry that they were being asked to fight for their country when they weren’t able to vote for the country’s leaders who were asking them to fight.

The people who wanted to standardize and lower (or reduce) the voting age to 18 had a popular slogan (or a phrase that many people repeat as a message about what they want to do or change). It was, “Old enough to fight, old enough to vote.” They meant that since the nation had decided that 18-year-old men were old enough to be in the Army, it should also decide that they were old enough to vote.

In 1971, the voting age was finally standardized and lowered. The 26th Constitutional Amendment (or change or addition to the Constitution, the most important legal document in the country) was ratified (or approved and made into a law) on July 7, 1971. It made the legal voting age 18 years old for the entire country.

The Amendment had some unintended (or unexpected) consequences, which are things that happen as a result of doing something else. After lowering the voting age, most states began to lower the age for other things, such as getting married or making contracts (or legal agreements). Today, most Americans believe that people become adults on their 18th birthday.

Glossary

rite of passage – an important thing that one does to move from one phase of one’s life to another phase
* For many Americans, getting their first apartment is a rite of passage when they become an adult.

to set – to establish; to put; to place
* Please set the thermometer at 68 degrees.

pressure – the feeling of needing to do something
* The professor feels a lot of pressure to publish research articles.

to standardize – to make the same; to make many different things become the same in some way
* We need to standardize our company's policies so that all employees follow the same rules.

conscripted – forced to join the military; told by the government that one must join the military
* Some of the Americans who were conscripted for the Vietnam War decided to move to Canada so that they wouldn't have to fight.

slogan – a phrase that many people repeat as a message about what they want to do or change
* The slogan for our organization is: “Be part of the solution, not the problem.”

ratified – approved and made into a law
* When was the 12th Constitutional Amendment ratified?

unintended – unexpected; not intentional; not planned; not meant to happen
* Many people use that product for unintended purposes.

consequence – something that happens as a result of doing something else
* The consequence of driving too quickly was that he got into an accident.

contract – a legal agreement
* They had to sign a 15-page contract when they moved into the apartment building.