The Northwest Ordinance of July 13, 1787 conferred the right “to elect a representative from their counties or townships to represent them in the general assembly” on every “free male inhabitant of full age in the district.”
What was “full age?” The Constitution of September 17, 1787 tells us in Article I Section 2 Clause 2: “No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen. “
For a twenty-five year old to meet the seven year citizenship requirement, the voting age had to be no more than eighteen years. If the voting age in the United States owned by the United States of America was twenty-one, it would be impossible for any twenty-five year old to be a Representative.
There are no surplus words, figures or punctuation in a constitution. In Article I Section 2 Clause 2 the Constitution of the United States expressly states that “full age” is eighteen years and the United States is a place where the Congress of the United States of America can change the English common law.
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Dr. Eduardo M. Rivera