1961 March 29

23rd Amendment Ratified, District of Columbia Residents Get to Vote in Presidential Elections


The Twenty-third Amendment to the Constitution, granting residents of the District of Columbia the right to vote in presidential elections, was ratified on this day. Residents voted for president for the first time on November 3, 1964. The District gained a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives in 1990, and Eleanor Holmes Norton became the first delegate. A campaign to grant statehood to the District sill continues (see link below).

The Twenty-third Amendment: 

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 power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Learn about the DC Statehood campaign: http://government.dc.gov/DC/Government/Data+&+Transparency/DC+Statehood

Read: Steven Lawson, Black Ballots: Voting Rights in the South, 1944–1969 (1976)

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