The Twenty-third Amendment (Amendment XXIII) to the United States Constitution extends the right to vote in presidential elections to citizens residing in the District of Columbia. The amendment grants the district electors in the Electoral College as though it were a state, though the district can never have more electors than the least-populous state. The Twenty-third amendment was proposed by the 86th Congress on June 16, 1960, and was ratified by the requisite number of states on March 29, 1961.
The Constitution provides that each state receives presidential electors equal to the combined number of seats it has in the Senate and the House of Representatives. As the District of Columbia is not a state, it was not entitled to any electors prior to the adoption of the Twenty-third Amendment. As early as 1888, some journalists and members of Congress favored a constitutional amendment to grant the district electoral votes, but such an amendment did not win widespread support until the rise of the civil rights movement in the 1950s. The amendment was not seen as a partisan measure, and ratification of the amendment was endorsed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and both major party candidates in the 1960 presidential election. The ratification of the amendment made the district the only entity other than the states to have any representation in the Electoral College.
The first presidential election in which the District of Columbia participated was the election of 1964; starting with that election, the District of Columbia has consistently had three members of the Electoral College. Since the passage of Twenty-third Amendment, all but one of the district's electoral votes have been cast for the Democratic Party's presidential candidates. The Twenty-third Amendment did not grant the district voting rights in Congress, nor did it grant the district home rule. Many citizens of the district favor statehood or further constitutional amendments to address these issues.
Section 1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:
A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
The United States Constitution's rules for the composition of the House of Representatives and the Senate explicitly grant seats to states and no other entities. Similarly, electors to the Electoral College are apportioned to states, not to territories or the federal district. The main reference to the federal district is in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution which gives Congress the power "To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States." In the early existence of the District, it was too small and rural to merit a hypothetical seat in the House of Representatives anyway, with fewer than 30,000 inhabitants.
In 1888, a bill to amend the Constitution was introduced in Congress by Senator Henry Blair of New Hampshire to grant District of Columbia voting rights in presidential elections, but it did not proceed. Theodore W. Noyes, a writer of the Washington Evening Star, published a number of stories in support of D.C. voting rights. Noyes also helped found the Citizens' Joint Committee on National Representation for the District of Columbia, a citizen's group which lobbied Congress to pass an amendment expanding D.C. voting rights. Noyes died in 1946, but the Citizens' Joint Committee continued onward, and the issue of District voting rights began to be seen as similar to the civil rights movement. A split developed between advocates for greater power for the District after World War II. The Evening Star, continuing in the Noyes mold, supported D.C. representation in Congress and the electoral college, but opposed "home rule" (locally elected mayors and councils with actual power, rather than direct rule by Congress). The Washington Post, however, supported "home rule" and civil rights, but opposed full-fledged representation for the District. Additionally, while many of the people leading the push were liberal Democrats, the District of Columbia in the 1950s was fairly balanced in its potential voting impact; Democrats had only a slight edge over Republicans, although District Republicans in the 1950s were liberal by national standards. Thus, an amendment to grant the District increased voting powers was able to gain bipartisan support in a way that would have been more difficult later. Only 28% of the District was African-American according to the 1940 census, and the black population was young compared to other residents, making the voting electorate even smaller due to the voting age of 21. This grew to 54% in the 1960 census, but according to political scientist Clement E. Vose, "various factors—inexperience in voting, educational handicaps, residency requirements, welfare laws, and social ostracism before the Voting Rights Act of 1965—minimized black registration and voting".
Senate Joint Resolution–39, which would eventually become the Twenty-third Amendment, was introduced in 1959 by Tennessee Democratic Senator Estes Kefauver. His proposal would provide for the emergency functioning of Congress and continuity of the legislative process by authorizing governors to fill vacancies in the House of Representatives "on any date that the total number of vacancies ... exceeds half of the authorized membership." The governor's appointive authority would have been limited to 60 days, and the appointee would have served until a successor was elected in a special election. The bill was amended twice on the Senate floor. One added provision, proposed by New York Republican Kenneth Keating, would grant the District of Columbia electoral votes in national elections and non-voting delegate(s) to the House. The other, offered by Florida Democrat Spessard Holland, would eliminate the poll tax or other property qualification as a prerequisite for voting in federal elections. The Senate passed SJR–39 in this three-amendment form on February 2, 1960, by a vote of 70–18, and sent it forward to the House.
The House Judiciary Committee, after setting aside the anti-poll tax and House emergency appointment provisions of SJR–39, sent its own proposal, House Joint Resolution–757, devoted solely to presidential electors for the District of Columbia, to the House floor for consideration. This was adopted in the House without amendment, by voice vote, on June 14, 1960. Then, by unanimous consent, the text of HJR–757 was inserted into SJR–39, the original language of which was removed. The Senate adopted the revised resolution by voice vote on June 16, 1960.
To become valid as part of the Constitution, the Twenty-third Amendment needed to be ratified by the legislatures of three-quarters of the states (38, following admission of Alaska and Hawaii to the union in 1959) within seven years from its submission to the states by Congress (June 16, 1967). President Eisenhower, along with both major party candidates in the 1960 presidential election, Vice President Richard Nixon and Senator John F. Kennedy from Massachusetts, endorsed the proposal. Amendment supporters ran an effective ratification campaign, mobilizing persons in almost every state to press for its approval.
The following states ratified the amendment:
Ratification was completed on March 29, 1961, 9 months and 12 days after being proposed by Congress. The amendment was subsequently ratified by the following states:
On April 3, 1961, John L. Moore, Administrator of General Services, certified that the amendment had been adopted by the requisite number of States and had become a part of the Constitution.
The amendment was rejected by Arkansas on January 24, 1961. Nine states took no action on the amendment: Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, North Carolina, and Virginia.
While perceived as politically neutral and only somewhat liberal-leaning at the time of passage in 1961, the District swung dramatically toward the Democratic Party in the years after passage. African-Americans voted in greater numbers than they had in the 1940s and 1950s with the clearing away of restrictions on the vote, and their share of the District electorate increased - according to the 1970 census, 71% of the Federal District was black, a dramatic jump. Accordingly, the District has sent its 3 electoral votes to the Democratic candidate in every single presidential election since 1964, including the 1984 landslide re-election of President Reagan, where only the District of Columbia and Minnesota voted for Democratic candidate Walter Mondale. The District's electoral votes have yet to prove decisive in a presidential election. The smallest Electoral College majority won by a Democratic president since the Twenty-third Amendment's ratification was the 56 vote majority achieved by Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Unaddressed by the Twenty-third Amendment were the parallel issues of congressional representation and "home rule" for the district. On December 24, 1973, Congress approved the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, which established an elected office of mayor and a 13-member elected council for the district. These officials were empowered to pass laws and enact administrative policies for the District, though Congress retained veto power if they chose to intervene. On March 23, 1971, President Nixon signed the District of Columbia Delegate Act which authorized voters in the District to elect one non-voting delegate to represent them in the House of Representatives. On August 22, 1978, Congress submitted the District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendment to the states for ratification. This sweeping proposal would have granted the District of Columbia full representation in the United States Congress as if it were a state, repealed the Twenty-third Amendment and granted the District full representation in the Electoral College plus participation in the process by which the Constitution is amended as if it were a state. The amendment failed to become part of the Constitution, however, as it was not ratified by the required number of states (38) prior to its August 22, 1985 ratification deadline. The campaign for the proposed amendment ran into much fiercer conservative opposition due to the open and obvious fact that by 1978 the proposed amendment would have practically guaranteed two Democratic Senators for some time; the amendment was criticized on various other grounds as well, and was not ratified even by several more "liberal" states.
Events from the year 1961 in the United States.2016 United States presidential election in the District of Columbia
The 2016 United States presidential election in the District of Columbia was held on November 8, 2016, as part of the 2016 general election in which all fifty states and the District of Columbia participated. D.C. voters chose electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote.
On March 12 and June 14, 2016, voters chose delegates to the Republican and Democratic National Conventions respectively.
Clinton won the election with 282,830 votes or 90.9%, the third strongest win for a Democrat after Barack Obama's victories in 2008 and 2012. Donald Trump received 12,723 votes or 4.1% of the vote, which is the lowest share of the popular vote received by any Republican candidate since voters in the District of Columbia were granted the right to vote in presidential elections. As a result of this, Hillary Clinton received the widest margin of victory, 86.8%, of any winning presidential candidate, breaking the record of 86% set by Barack Obama in 2008. The District of Columbia has voted for the Democratic ticket in every election since 1964, which was the first election in which D.C. voters were allowed to participate.2016 Washington, D.C. statehood referendum
A referendum on statehood for the District of Columbia was held on November 8, 2016. It was the second referendum on statehood to be held in the district. The District of Columbia was created following the passage of the Residence Act on July 9, 1790, which approved the creation of a national capital, the City of Washington on the Potomac River.
The District of Columbia voters were asked to advise the Council to approve or reject a proposal, which included advising the council to petition Congress to admit the District as the 51st State and to approve a constitution and boundaries for the new state. The voters of the District of Columbia voted overwhelmingly to advise the Council to approve the proposal, with 86% of voters voting to advise approving the proposal.86th United States Congress
The Eighty-sixth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from January 3, 1959, to January 3, 1961, during the last two years of the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Seventeenth Census of the United States in 1950. Both chambers had a Democratic majority. When Alaska and Hawaii were admitted as states in 1959, the membership of the House temporarily increased to 437 (seating one member from each of those newly admitted states and leaving the apportionment of the other 435 seats unchanged); it would remain at 437 until reapportionment resulting from the 1960 census.District of Columbia voting rights
Voting rights of citizens in the District of Columbia differ from the rights of citizens in each of the 50 U.S. states. The United States Constitution grants each state voting representation in both houses of the United States Congress. As the U.S. capital, the District of Columbia is a special federal district, not a state, and therefore does not have voting representation in Congress. The Constitution grants Congress exclusive jurisdiction over the District in "all cases whatsoever".
In the United States House of Representatives, the District is represented by a delegate, who is not allowed to vote on the House floor but can vote on procedural matters and in congressional committees. D.C. residents have no representation in the United States Senate. The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted in 1961, entitles the District to the same number of electoral votes as that of the least populous state in the election of the President and Vice President of the United States.
The District's lack of voting representation in Congress has been an issue since the capital's founding. Numerous proposals have been introduced to change this situation, including legislation and constitutional amendments, returning the District to the state of Maryland, and making the District into a new state. All proposals have been met with political or constitutional challenges and there has been no change in the District's representation in Congress.F. Elwood Davis
F. Elwood Davis also (Frank Elwood Davis) (December 15, 1915 – January 17, 2012) was a prominent Washington, D.C. lawyer, civic leader and philanthropist.Federal government of the United States
The Federal Government of the United States (U.S. Federal Government) is the national government of the United States, a federal republic in North America, composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and several island possessions. The federal government is composed of three distinct branches: legislative, executive, and judicial, whose powers are vested by the U.S. Constitution in the Congress, the President, and the federal courts, respectively. The powers and duties of these branches are further defined by acts of congress, including the creation of executive departments and courts inferior to the Supreme Court.Federal voting rights in Puerto Rico
Voting rights of United States citizens in Puerto Rico, like the voting rights of residents of other United States territories, differ from those of United States citizens in each of the fifty states and the District of Columbia. Residents of Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories do not have voting representation in the United States Congress, and are not entitled to electoral votes for President. The United States Constitution grants congressional voting representation to U.S. states, which Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories are not, specifying that members of Congress shall be elected by direct popular vote and that the President and the Vice President shall be elected by electors chosen by the States.Puerto Rico is a territory under the sovereignty of the federal government, but is not part of any state nor is it a state itself. It has been organized (given a measure of self-rule by the Congress) subject to the Congress' plenary powers under the territorial clause of Article IV, sec. 3, of the U.S. Constitution. In the U.S. House of Representatives, Puerto Rico is entitled to a Resident Commissioner, a delegate who is not allowed to vote on the floor of the House, but can vote on procedural matters and in House committees. In most other U.S. overseas (and historically pre-state) territories, as well as the District of Columbia, a similar representative position is styled Delegate.
The lack of direct voting representation in Congress for residents of the territory has been an issue since the U.S. Congress granted U.S. citizenship to Puerto Rico citizens in 1917. All judicial claims have been met with political or constitutional challenges; therefore, there has been no change in Puerto Rico's representation in the Congress or representation on the electoral college for the U.S. citizens residing in Puerto Rico.
Like other territories, Puerto Rico can participate in the presidential primary process. It holds a primary election in the spring of each presidential election year. Then the parties choose delegates to the Republican and Democratic National Convention, who are pledged to vote at that convention for the winners of Puerto Rico's primary, but that's the end of their participation in the presidential election. See United States presidential primaries in Puerto Rico, 2016.History of Washington, D.C.
The history of Washington, D.C. is tied to its role as the capital of the United States. Originally inhabited by an Algonquian-speaking people known as the Nacotchtank. The site of the District of Columbia along the Potomac River was first selected by President George Washington. The city came under attack during the War of 1812 in an episode known as the Burning of Washington. Upon the government's return to the capital, it had to manage reconstruction of numerous public buildings, including the White House and the United States Capitol. The McMillan Plan of 1901 helped restore and beautify the downtown core area, including establishing the National Mall, along with numerous monuments and museums.
Unique among cities with a high percentage of African Americans, Washington has had a significant black population since the city's creation. As a result, Washington became both a center of African American culture and a center of Civil Rights Movement. Since the city government was run by the U.S. federal government, black and white school teachers were paid at an equal scale as workers for the federal government. It was not until the administration of Woodrow Wilson, a Southern Democrat who had numerous Southerners in his cabinet, that federal offices and workplaces were segregated, starting in 1913. This situation persisted for decades: the city was racially segregated in certain facilities until the 1950s.
Today, D.C. is marked by contrasts. Neighborhoods on the eastern periphery of the central city, and east of the Anacostia River tend to be disproportionately lower-income. Following World War II, many middle-income whites moved out of the city's central and eastern sections to newer, affordable suburban housing, with commuting eased by highway construction. The assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968 sparked major riots in chiefly African American neighborhoods east of Rock Creek Park. Large sections of the central city remained blighted for decades. By contrast, areas west of the Park, including virtually the entire portion of the District between the Georgetown and Chevy Chase neighborhoods (the latter of which spills into neighboring Chevy Chase, Maryland), contain some of the nation's most affluent and notable neighborhoods. During the early 20th century, the U Street Corridor served as an important center for African American culture in DC. The Washington Metro opened in 1976. A rising economy and gentrification in the late 1990s and early 2000s led to revitalization of many downtown neighborhoods.
Article One, Section 8, of the United States Constitution places the District (which is not a state) under the exclusive legislation of Congress. Throughout its history, Washington, D.C. residents have therefore lacked voting representation in Congress. The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1961, gave the District representation in the Electoral College. The 1973 District of Columbia Home Rule Act provided the local government more control of affairs, including direct election of the city council and mayor.Index of Washington, D.C.–related articles
The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to the United States District of Columbia, commonly known as Washington, D.C.List of states and territories of the United States by population
The states and territories included in the United States Census Bureau's statistics include the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five permanently inhabited unincorporated island territories, including Puerto Rico.As of April 1, 2010, the date of the 2010 United States Census, the 9 most populous U.S. states contain slightly more than half of the total population. The 25 least populous states contain less than one-sixth of the total population. California, the most populous state, contains more people than the 21 least populous states combined, and Wyoming, the least populous state, has a population less than that of the 31st most populous U.S. cities.March 29
March 29 is the 88th day of the year (89th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 277 days remain until the end of the year.Outline of Washington, D.C.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to District of Columbia:
The District of Columbia, in the United States of America, was founded on July 16, 1790, after the inauguration of City of Washington, the new capital of the country. The area given to District of Columbia, was originally 100 square miles (259 km2) ceded by the states of Maryland and Virginia in accordance with the Residence Act; however, in 1846, the retrocession of the District of Columbia, meant that the area of 31 square miles (80 km2) which was ceded by Virginia was returned, leaving 69 square miles (179 km2) of territory originally ceded by Maryland as the current area of the District in its entirety.The City of Washington was originally a separate municipality within the Territory of Columbia until the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 effectively merged the City and the Territory into a single entity. It is for this reason that everything within its boundaries is legally the District of Columbia.Political divisions of the United States
Political divisions (or administrative divisions) of the United States are the various recognized governing entities that together form the United States — states, the District of Columbia, territories and indian reservations.
The primary first-level political (administrative) division of the United States is the state. There are 50 states, which are bound together in a union with each other. Each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a defined geographic territory, and shares its sovereignty with the United States federal government. According to numerous decisions of the United States Supreme Court, the 50 individual states and the United States as a whole are each sovereign jurisdictions.All state governments are modeled after the federal government and consist of three branches (although the three-branch structure is not Constitutionally required): executive, legislative, and judicial. They retain plenary power to make laws covering anything not preempted by the U.S. Constitution, federal statutes, or treaties ratified by the U.S. Senate, and are organized as presidential systems where the governor is both head of government and head of state (even though this too is not required). The various states are then typically subdivided into counties. Louisiana uses the term parish and Alaska uses the term borough for what the Census terms county equivalents in those states.
Counties and county equivalents may be further subdivided into townships. Towns in New York, Wisconsin and New England are treated as equivalents to townships by the United States Census Bureau. Townships or towns are used as subdivisions of a county in 20 states, mostly in the Northeast and Midwest.Population centers may be organized into incorporated cities, towns, villages, and other types of municipalities. Municipalities are typically subordinate to a county government, with some exceptions. Certain cities, for example, have consolidated with their county government as consolidated city-counties. In Virginia, cities are completely independent from the county in which they would otherwise be a part. In some states, particularly in New England, towns form the primary unit of local government below the state level, in some cases eliminating the need for county government entirely.
The government of each of the five permanently inhabited U.S. territories is also modeled and organized after the federal government. Each is further subdivided into smaller entities. Puerto Rico has 78 municipalities, and the Northern Mariana Islands has 4 municipalities. Guam has villages, the U.S. Virgin Islands has districts, and American Samoa has districts and unorganized atolls.Other U.S. sub-national divisions include the District of Columbia, several minor outlying islands, and Indian reservations, all of which are administered by the Federal government. Each Indian Reservation is subdivided in various ways. For example, the Navajo Nation is subdivided into agencies and Chapter houses, while the Blackfeet Nation is subdivided into Communities. The Federal government also maintains exclusive jurisdiction over military installations and American embassies and consulates located in foreign countries. Other special purpose divisions exist separately from those for general governance, examples of which include conservation districts and Congressional districts.
According to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service,
Federal and state governments are established and recognized by the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions. Federally recognized Indian tribal governments are recognized by the U.S. Constitution, treaties, statutes and court decisions. Other entities may be recognized as governments by state law, court decision, or an examination of facts and circumstances that indicate it has the characteristics of a government, such as powers of taxation, law enforcement and civil authority.Timeline of voting rights in the United States
This is a timeline of voting rights in the United States.Twenty-third Amendment
The Twenty-third Amendment may refer to the:
Twenty-third Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland, which permitted the state to recognise the International Criminal Court
Twenty-third Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan, which granted legal cover to military courts
Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, which allowed residents of the District of Columbia to vote in presidential electionsUnited States presidential elections in Washington, D.C.
Following is a table of United States presidential elections in Washington, D.C., ordered by year. Since the adoption of the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1961, Washington, D.C. has had three electoral votes in the election of the President and Vice President of the United States, and has participated in every U.S. presidential election. As of 2017, in every presidential election, Washington, D.C., has voted for the candidate of the Democratic party.
Winners of the district are in bold.Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, the first President of the United States and a Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.The signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. The U.S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress, and the District is therefore not a part of any state. The states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria. The City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land originally ceded by Virginia; in 1871, it created a single municipal government for the remaining portion of the District.
Washington had an estimated population of 702,455 as of July 2018, making it the 20th most populous city in the United States. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. Washington's metropolitan area, the country's sixth largest, had a 2017 estimated population of 6.2 million residents.All three branches of the U.S. federal government are centered in the District: Congress (legislative), president (executive), and the U.S. Supreme Court (judicial). Washington is home to many national monuments, and museums, primarily situated on or around the National Mall. The city hosts 177 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profits, lobbying groups, and professional associations, including the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization of American States, AARP, the National Geographic Society, the Human Rights Campaign, the International Finance Corporation, and the American Red Cross.
A locally elected mayor and a 13‑member council have governed the District since 1973. However, Congress maintains supreme authority over the city and may overturn local laws. D.C. residents elect a non-voting, at-large congressional delegate to the House of Representatives, but the District has no representation in the Senate. The District receives three electoral votes in presidential elections as permitted by the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1961.
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