Okay readers, many of you often surprise me with your skills at tracking down information on a variety of subjects. So here’s a question that has semi-stumped me recently.
For a person who was born in Virginia in 1920, what was the first year would he or she have been eligible to vote in the commonwealth?
I had been working on the assumption that the answer was 1941 (when that person turned 21). The person in question, however, told me that it was 1938 — age 18. But that person, sharp as she seems, she doesn’t have a precise recollection of that. And she didn’t vote that year, anyway.
I’ve been looking around and if I had to bet I’d still say it was 1941 (voting age 21). But that’s by inference — I’ve been unable to find a source that says explicitly, Virginia’s voting age was 18 in 1938, or that it was 21 until the adoption of the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, on July 1, 1971.
It appears that Georgia and Kentucky were the only states that permitted voting by 18-year-olds before that date. The age was 19 in Alaska and 20 in Hawaii, but those weren’t even states in by 1941.
Can anyone help me nail that one down? The first person who does, and provides a source I consider reputable, I’ll owe a book from Dan’s Bookshelf.