The ratification of the Twenty-Third Amendment to the Constitution granted the residents of Washington, DC the right to vote in presidential elections.
Last week, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform held a hearing on Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton’s bill on DC statehood. If passed, Washington, DC would become America’s fifty-first state. Residents of the city overwhelmingly support statehood; in 2016, nearly eighty percent of voters voted in favor of an advisory referendum on the issue.
The push for statehood for Washington, DC is just the latest step for full rights for the residents of Washington, DC. Until sixty years ago, the residents of the city were not even allowed to vote in presidential elections. The ratification of the Twenty-third Amendment to the Constitution sixty years ago today finally granted residents of the nation’s capitol the right to vote in presidential elections. The amendment also granted three Electoral College votes to the district.
The proposed amendment was ratified a little over nine months after its being sent to the states for ratification. Only one former Confederate state, Tennessee, voted to ratify the amendment before ratification; another former Confederate state, Alabama only voted to ratify in 2002. Arkansas rejected the amendment outright while all the other former Confederate states took no action on the amendment at all.