23rd Amendment

U.S. Constitution of 1787

23rd Amendment

US Constitution Amendment
Proposal Date
Enacted Date
Provides for representation of Washington, D.C., in the Electoral College - Signers: Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn (D)  & US Senator Michael Mansfield (D-MT)
June 16, 1960
March 29, 1961

The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution provides the right for citizens in the District of Columbia to vote for Electors for President and Vice President. The amendment was proposed by Congress on June 17, 1960, and ratified by the states on March 29, 1961. The first Presidential election in which it was in effect was the Lyndon B. Johnson vs Barry Goldwater presidential election of 1964. Before the passage of the amendment, residents of Washington, D.C. were forbidden from voting for President or Vice President as the District is not a U.S. state.  

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.

The 23rd Amendment restricts the district to the number of Electors of the least populous state, irrespective of its own population. As of 2011, that state is Wyoming, which has three Electors. However, even without this clause, the district's present population would entitle it to only three Electors. Since the passage of this amendment, the District's electoral votes have gone towards the candidates of the Democratic Party in every presidential election.

Exhibited is United States Senate Document No. 49, of the Eighty-Seventh Congress , First Session, done by  the United States Government Printing Office, Washington, 1961,  This printing is the official document transmitted by the US Congress to State Legislatures for their Ratification consideration of the proposed 23rd Amendment. The printing includes the Constitution of 1787, its ratified Amendments and proposed 23rd Amendment. Historical notes are written by Denys P. Myers, and they include resolutions and letters of the 1787 Philadelphia Convention; details on Ratification; details on Amendments and their Ratification from 1791-1961; History of the Printed Archtype; Preparation of an Authentic Text; The Record Book Of Ratifications; The Handling of Ratification Documents; Secretary Thomson and the Transfer of Records; and the Variety of Official Prints .  

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