23rd Amendment: Presidential Electors for D.C.

As part of the National Constitution Center’s 27 Amendments (In 27 Days) project, each day we will look at a constitutional amendment. Through partnerships with leading scholars and universities, government agencies, media outlets, and more, the National Constitution Center will profile one amendment each day throughout the month of February.

North-lawn-1987Full Text of the 23rd 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.

Synopsis:

In authorizing the creation of a federal district as seat of government, the Framers made no provision for the suffrage rights of persons who resided there. This amendment for the first time, effective with the 1964 election, gave District of Columbia residents the opportunity to vote for three presidential electors.

Source: U.S. Senate

Resources:

1. The Library of Congress Constitution Annotated. Contains a detailed history of the amendment, along with past and recent court cases. Here is a link to the section on the 23rd Amendment.

2. Cornell Legal Information Institute. Includes information from Wex, a free legal dictionary and encyclopedia sponsored and hosted by the Legal Information Institute at the Cornell Law School. Wex entries are collaboratively created and edited by legal experts.

Learn more about this project at the Constitution Center’s website at: constitutioncenter.org/experience/programs-initiatives/27-amendments-in-27-days/

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