Excited about the proposed constitutional amendment to lower the voting age to 16? Follow these steps to contact your U.S. House representative to ask them to co-sponsor the legislation, or to thank them if they are already a co-sponsor.
These steps will help you contact your representative in a personal way that is very effective. If you’re looking for a quicker way to contact them with a pre-written message, go here.
Step 1: Find out who your representative in the U.S. House is. Click here and type in your zip code to find out.
Step 2: Find out if your representative is already a co-sponsor. Click here to see the current list of co-sponsors. If they are not on that list, proceed with Step 3. If they are on that list, see the instructions at the very bottom of the page.
- Step 3: Call their Washington, D.C. office. You can find the phone number here. A staff person will pick up the phone. These are your goals for the call:
- Politely tell them you’re a constituent who is passionate about the bill H.J.Res.23, the proposed amendment to extend voting rights to 16 and 17 year olds.
- Ask if you can talk with the appropriate staff person.
- Explain very briefly why this issue matters to you.
- Request that the representative co-sponsors the bill
- Ask if you can email more information to follow up.
Here is a general script that you can follow:
“Hi, my name is [your name] and I’m a constituent of Representative [name]. I live in [your city or neighborhood]. I’m calling because I’m excited about a new bill that was recently introduced, H.J.Res.23, proposing a constitutional amendment to extend voting rights to 16- and 17-year-olds, and I would like to encourage Representative [name] to co-sponsor the bill. Can you connect me with the person in your office who handles election issues?”
If they transfer you to that person: Explain very briefly why you’re excited about Vote16. Ask if they have considered it, and listen to any feedback they share. Then, ask for their email address so you can share additional information.
If they cannot transfer you to the person who handles election issues: Ask if they can give you the email address of a staff person who you can email to share more information.
Step 4: Send a follow up email. If you were able to get an email address for a specific person, send them a quick email with more information and to reiterate the ask for co-sponsorship. It could look something like this.
If you spoke with them: It was great talking with you today! I’m really excited about H.J.Res.23 and I hope Representative (name) will join as a co-sponsor. Write 1-2 sentences explaining the importance of the bill. I also wanted to share this report about the research on the policy issue so that you can study it in more detail. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for your time! Feel free to also attach or link any other articles you think are compelling.
If you did not speak with them: I called Rep. [name]‘s office earlier today about H.J.Res.23 and got your contact information to follow up. I’m a constituent from [your city or neighborhood] and I would like to encourage Rep. [name] to co-sponsor this legislation, which proposes a constitutional amendment to extend voting rights to 16- and 17-year-olds. Write 1-2 sentences explaining the importance of the bill. I also wanted to share this report about the research on the policy issue. Please let me know if you have any questions, and thank you in advance for your consideration. Feel free to also attach or link any other articles you think are compelling.
Step 5 (optional but encouraged): Share and tag your representative on social media. Post about this on your Instagram story or on Twitter or Facebook and tag your representative. This can help make the issue more urgent and can encourage your friends to take action too!
One final note: Back in 2019, there was a separate proposal in the House related to lowering the voting age, and it was voted on by all of the representatives at the time. 126 representatives voted yes, which is a huge number. So, there is a chance that your representative has already supported Vote16 by voting yes on that proposal back in 2019. The list of “ayes” on this page shows everyone who voted yes. If your representative is on this list, you should definitely mention that in your call or email. Say, “I know that Rep. [name] voted yes on an amendment proposing this same policy during the HR1 debate in 2019, so I’m hoping they will support this current legislation as well.” If you’re saying this in an email, link to this page.
If your representative is already a co-sponsor of H.J.Res.23: Yay!!! This is great! You can follow the easy method and send a pre-written email to thank them. Or, you can follow the directions above to find their phone number and call their office. Just tell the person who answers that you are a constituent from [your city or neighborhood] and you want to thank the representative for co-sponsoring H.J.Res.23, the legislation to lower the voting age to 16. Explain why you’re excited about it, and that you hope the representative will continue to speak out about it. Bonus: give your rep a shout-out on social media and tag their account to express your thanks.
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