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State activity continues to increase on this subject. Ten States will have referendums on this proposal in the fall. Two legislatures have approved it once, but have the consecutive sessions rule.

To await individual action by 48 State legislatures and 48 referendums is too slow a process. Mr. Chairman, and Senator Cook, it was too slow a process when we had the amendment giving women in this country the right and the responsibility of the franchise. Only 19 States over the period of our history had given women the right to vote when we had the constitutional amendment presented to the States by the action of the Congress. Mr. Chairman, it was then about 15 months until a sufficient number of States ratified that constitutional amendment and it was proclaimed by the Secretary of State.

Several Senators have expressed support for the lower voting age but feel that such a change is the prerogative of the states. But a Member of the Senate can vote for such a constitutional amendment to lower the voting age to 18 on the theory that the Congress is referring this matter to the States. Congress is, in a sense, giving the impetus to the States to act either affirmatively or to deny the validity of the proposal.

It is my belief that action by the Congress would place this matter four square before the States. Then they could take immediate action either to accept or reject this amendment. I feel that it would be adopted.

In our 193-year history we have worked to expand the base of the democratic processes in our country. I think full participation is the ideal for which men, and women have been striving through the years. We accomplished this, as you have mentioned Mr. Chairman, by giving women the right and responsibility to vote. We have accomplished it as Senator Cook well knows in eliminating the poll tax which was a problem in many Southern States. We have passed the Voting Rights Act, and we have done it with many other measures. Now, we should extend our base by giving to young people not only the opportunity, but I repeat again and again, the responsi- P. bility for this active, this full participation. The future in large part belongs to young people. It is imperative that they have the opportunity to help set the course of that future, not the future of those who are 50, 60, 70 in this room, but set the course, partially at least, for their future.

My estimate of young people is high. Of course, an older person sometimes disagrees with what segments or minorities of youth do, but I repeat that in my overall estimate of young people I am convinced that they are worthy of this responsibility. I feel that our youth is equal to the challenges, the challenges of today and tomorrow, just as I think older people are equal to those challenges of today and tomorrow.

I hope, and I believe that they can aid through the ballot in bringing into being a better world. It is not Polyannish to say that, Mr. Chairman. I believe it very much. And now I repeat, there are 68 Senators that are listed on Senate Joint Resolution 147. I think that it is appropriate to say that four Senators who are not on the resolution have told me personally that they will vote for the resolu

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tion, Senate Resolution 147, when it comes to a vote in the Senate. So, we have 72 votes that we now know are certain, and I have every hope that there will be five or 10 others.

There is overwhelming evidence, and you have said this, Mr. Chairman, in your very excellent opening statement, that the Senate is ready to act on an amendment to lower the voting age to 18. I trust, Mr. Chairman, and Senator Cook, that this action can be taken in the second session of the 91st Congress.

That concludes my statement, Mr. Chairman.

Senator Bayh. Thank you very much Senator Randolph. Your statement is so complete and all-encompassing and goes specifically to the merits of the case that it really leaves little room for questioning, as far as I am concerned. We are deeply grateful for the effort you have made and are making, and we are going to continue to cooperate in every way possible.

Senator Cook, as Senator from a State that has seen the light, I think it is particularly significant that you are a Member of this subcommittee, and we are going to lean very heavily on you, if we may, when the time comes to bring this before the executive session of this committee. Do you have any questions for Senator Randolph?

Senator Cook. Senator Randolph, I must confess that I am delighted to say that my State has passed an amendment to our Constitution to vote 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds, and it has had it for some

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14 years.

For those who say to me that people are entitled to be drafted at 18 years of age and therefore why should they not be entitled to vote, and I usually reply that it is more important to admit that the 18-year-old and the 19- and 20-year-old is now an absolute vibrant part of this society and an integral part of it. I would like to ask you, and try to help really in a way to answer, Senator, young Kevin Phillips in his book, a very controversial book, "The Emerging Republican Majority.” He says that youth is important, but voters under 25 cast only 7.4 percent of the Nation's ballot in 1968. Do you have any comment on that percentage?

Senator RANDOLPH. Senator Cook, first of all before answering that question, you have indicated that some of the responsibilities of youth that I have listed are not really the core of this problem and Í fully agree. I set them down not at the beginning. You will recall that I indicated and said that these 11 million Americans-these young people, 18, 19 and 20—are educated, are motivated, and are involved Americans. Yet they cannot participate in this electoral process, the use of the ballot. Some say they are too immature, and you and I say, Senator Cook, they are ready for this responsibility.

Now, to go to your question about the percentage of the young people who vote, and the percentage who do not vote, I, of course. regret when a person is eligible to vote but does not vote. I regret this in a person of any age that now has the ballot. I will not try to make comparisons of States, but in the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the recent first gubernatorial primary in that State, which was a very, very important primary, millions of dollars were spent in the campaign by the candidates. The issues were highlighted, they were front-paged, they were on television and radio constantly. When

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the votes had been counted approximately 34 percent of those eligible in that election had participated with the ballot. Now, I regret that very, very much.

I can give another case in point, and I use these two cases because they are recent. You know, of course, of the huge sums of money spent, the exposure of the candidates and their viewpoint to the people of New York City during the first primary in the recent mayorality election.

Only 42 percent of the people cast their ballots in that election. Now, I realize that ofttimes people vote to a greater degree in a crisis or when there is some particular issue that is brought home to them. It may be a school bond issue in a certain community. But, you are speaking today, of the overall voting and the neglect of the voting, and participation in voting.

I can only say that it is my belief that if young people, with the focus that now is on young people, are given this ballot of opportunity, but more importantly a ballot of responsibility, I believe that they will use it to a greater degree than those young people who have perhaps failed to use it in as high a percentage as they should have used it in past years. I have this faith. I cannot base it, Senator Cook, on anything but faith but I believe that these young people will use the American ballot.

Senator Cook. Well, let me add to what you have said, I think the 7.4 percent figure means absolutely nothing because if this is typical of the 21- to 25-year-old voting age, as he wishes to put it forth in his book, then certainly this franchise is given to that 21to 25-year-old group and if they are reticent to exercise it then I do not think we should penalize the group from 18 to 20. I also feel that it is a very misleading figure because I think that the 18to 2.5-year-old group is probably one of the most mobile groups that we have in our society today. I am afraid that along with the fact that this percentage is low, we would also have to attribute that low percentage to the fact that many States in the Union make it difficult to acquire absentee ballots, and have all kinds of restrictions on how one can apply for an absentee ballot. Some almost seem more dedicated to seeing to it that young people do not vote than seeing to it that they do vote. And the rightness or wrongness of the issue does not really depend upon how many people vote. I think, as you have exhibited in your figures in the Virginia primary, I might say in the Virginia general election, and the primary in New York and in the general election, thousands and thousands of people failed to exercise their right to vote. So, I think that this argument is not valid.

May I say to the Senator and may I say to the chairman, it is my understanding that even though we may pass this in the Senate in this session that we will have very grave difficulty in getting it through the House, purely and simply because we may have an extraordinary problem even getting it out of the committee. And I might suggest to the witness and to the chairman that the chairman of the committee is I think close to 80 years old, which I might suggest tells you something about his disposition on this issue.

I think one of these days we should look to the problem that we face in America, and that is that medical science is seeing to it that people are growing older and older and older, and maintaining a major proportion of the voting rights in this country, and I think those of us who represent the middle of the age spectrum, and I use that rather politely, we find ourselves in need of some help sometimes and I think that help may well come from the political vitality of the 18-, 19-, and 20-year-old voter.

Senator RANDOLPH. Thank you very much, Senator Cook. You refer to age brackets. I want you to know, and Senator Bayh to know, that I have no problem with the generation gap. I can get along very well with younger people, and I want the record to so indicate. I realize that there should be no postscript to what I have said, except to tell you gentlemen who sit here that I am excited about this subject in February 1970, just as I was excited about this subject in 1942. I believe in it. I do not place myself at all in the role of a crusader, but I

Senator Bayh. I wish you would.

Senator RANDOLPH. I believe that now is the time, and I think the hour is striking now for 18-year-old voting. I believe that the subcommittee, Mr. Chairman, will report this resolution favorably and that the full committee under the chairmanship of Senator Eastland will report the resolution and that we will have it in the Senate of the United States.

I know the problem in the House to a degree. I did not mean to negate the challenge over there when I mentioned the 22 Representatives who participated in the special task force. But, 22 Representatives joined together and said they believed in 18-year-old voting. I have talked with scores of Members in the other body in which I had the responsibility to serve, and I believe that they are more favorable to this proposal than ever before. I recognize the problem of the committee in the House, but I believe that we can overcome the obstacles that are before us.

Mr. Chairman, I want to express my appreciation to those witnesses who join in testifying on this resolution. I personally and officially am grateful that they could come here for these hearings. I want to thank also the perhaps 150, young persons who are present in this hearing room this morning who believe that they can exercise with a certain amount of good judgment the responsibility of the American ballot.

Thank you very much.
Senator Bayh. Thank you very much, Senator Randolph.

Our next witness is no stranger to Washington-Mr. Theodore Sorensen. Ted Sorensen, former Special Counsel to President Kennedy and now residing in New York, a member of the bar and a distinguished scholar, has taken time from his busy schedule to join with us.

Mr. Sorensen, I am somewhat reluctant to have to point out that we are going to have a full committee meeting in about 5 minutes. Now, this in no way limits your statement, but I thought perhaps we could get through your prepared statement and then we are going to have to have a short recess for the committee meeting. I do not anticipate a long committee meeting, but I think that inasmuch as the Supreme Court nominee is before the committee it will make up in its intensity what it lacks in length, and I do not want to miss that experience.

STATEMENT OF THEODORE E. SORENSEN, FORMERLY SPECIAL

COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT KENNEDY

Mr. SORENSEN. I do not want you to miss it, Mr. Chairman.

Senator Bayh. So, if you will proceed we are very grateful that you are with us this morning.

Mr. SORENSEN. Mr. Chairman, Senator Cook, I am pleased to appear before this subcommittee to urge an amendment to the Federal Constitution lowering the voting age to 18. As one who has had considerable personal experience and firsthand experience with young people and their interest and ability in the political process, I congratulate you and Senator Randolph for pushing this important measure. This is one of those ideas whose time has come.

This is not a partisan matter. Frankly I regard as speculative all of the talk that such a step would help or hurt any particular party, philosophy, or candidate. Nor is this an unprecedented measure. Many statutes already recognize age 18 as the effective dividing line between children and adults with regard, for example, to employment, financial affairs, property, crime, alcoholic beverages, motor vehicles, and family relations.

This is instead a moral issue. For the very essence of democracy requires that its electoral base be as broad as the standards of fairness and logic permit. “They alone deserve to be called free," wrote the non-property-holders of Richmond in their historic petition to the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1829, “who participate in the formation of their political institutions.” Thus the real question in a free country is not “Why should they vote?” but “Why shouldn't they?" A case can be made for excluding felons, aliens, lunatics, and children. But 18- to 20-year-olds do not deserve to be categorized with these groups.

I do not support the traditional proposition that the physical and mental characteristics required for military service are proof of ability to exercise the franchise, that is, that any one who is old enough to fight is old enough to be allowed to vote. But I do strongly support the proposition that the development of an informed social conscience, sense of public responsibility, and discriminatory intelligence deserves the franchise, that is, that any one who is old enough to vote is old enough to be allowed to vote.

Nor is the draft age wholly irrelevant, Mr. Chairman. The brunt of fighting and dying in a prolonged and unpopular war falls with particular force on those between the ages of 18 and 21. To them the debate over Vietnamization, reescalation, and negotiation is not just a matter of party politics or abstract foreign policy—it is literally a matter of life or death. Yet they have no voice whatever in the process which determines whether they live or die. If taxation without representation was tyranny, then conscription without representation is slavery.

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