Stand up for the facts!

Misinformation isn't going away just because it's a new year. Support trusted, factual information with a tax deductible contribution to PolitiFact.

More Info

I would like to contribute

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the Democratic Caucus address reporters on H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2021, at the Capitol in Washington on March 3, 2021. (AP/Applewhite) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the Democratic Caucus address reporters on H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2021, at the Capitol in Washington on March 3, 2021. (AP/Applewhite)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the Democratic Caucus address reporters on H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2021, at the Capitol in Washington on March 3, 2021. (AP/Applewhite)

Amy Sherman
By Amy Sherman March 10, 2021
Paul Specht
By Paul Specht March 10, 2021

No, HR 1 doesn't 'allow minors to vote'

If Your Time is short

  • U.S. Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) tweeted his opposition to H.R. 1, also known as the For the People Act of 2021.
  • Budd claimed that the bill "allows minors to vote."
  • The bill only allows some minors to pre-register to vote. The House voted to block amendments that would lower the voting age.

A North Carolina congressman says he opposes the Democrats’ voting rights bill in part because it lowers the voting age.

House Democrats introduced H.R. 1, also known as the For the People Act, to expand access to the voting booth. On March 2, U.S. Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) tweeted a list of ways he says the bill "rigs" elections to help Democrats. He said that it:

"Eliminates voter ID, 

Allows felons to vote, 

Allows minors to vote, 

Expands ‘no excuse’ absentee voting."

We’ve looked at some of these claims before.

Eliminates voter ID: This is partially accurate. The bill doesn’t eliminate state voter ID laws so much as provide voters a way to work around them. In states with voter ID laws, the bill says voters without ID can present election officials with a sworn written statement under penalty of perjury attesting to their identity.

Allows felons to vote: This leaves out context. It’s more accurate to say the bill restores voting rights to felons once they’ve served their criminal sentence. Many states already allow felons to vote once they meet the terms of their sentence, as PolitiFact has previously reported. The bill specifically says rights are restored "unless such individual is serving a felony sentence in a correctional institution or facility at the time of the election."

Featured Fact-check

Expands "no excuse" absentee voting: This is true. Some states require voters to have an excuse for requesting an absentee ballot. The bill says if someone is eligible to vote, "the State may not impose any additional conditions or requirements on the eligibility of the individual to cast the vote in such election by absentee ballot by mail." It’s worth noting, however, that North Carolina is already a no excuse absentee voting state.

Now to the big miss.

Minors not voting

Budd said the bill "allows minors to vote." That’s not true.

When we asked Budd’s office about this, spokesman Curtis Kalin said: "I believe he was referring to the provision that allowed those under 18 to register to vote."

The bill allows people who are 16-years-old to pre-register to vote. As PolitiFact previously reported, some states already allow this practice. Under section 1094, the bill even says the pre-registration has "no effect on state voting age requirements."

"Nothing in paragraph (1) may be construed to require a State to permit an individual who is under 18 years of age at the time of an election for Federal office to vote in the election," the bill reads.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass, has introduced a pair of amendments that would lower the voting age to 16. Polls show younger voters tend to lean Democratic. Pressley’s amendments failed in both 2019 and 2021 with more than 300 House members voting against the idea each time.

Our ruling

Budd tweeted, among other things, that H.R. 1 "allows minors to vote."

The bill would allow people who are 16 to register to vote. That’s not the same thing as allowing them to cast a vote. This claim is patently False. 

Our Sources

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Amy Sherman

No, HR 1 doesn't 'allow minors to vote'

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up