District of Columbia voting rights
Satellite view of the District of Columbia in
relation to the states of Maryland and
Voting rights of citizens in the District of
Columbia differ from those of United States
citizens in each of the 50 states. D.C. resid-
ents do not have voting representation in the
United States Senate and only a delegate in
the House of Representatives. Also, D.C. is
entitled to three electoral votes.
The United States Constitution grants con-
states, which the District is not. The District
is a federal territory ultimately under the
complete authority of Congress. The lack of
voting representation in Congress for resid-
ents of the U.S. capital has been an issue
since the foundation of the federal district.
Numerous proposals have been introduced to
remedy this situation including legislation
and constitutional amendments to grant D.C.
residents voting representation, returning
the District to the state of Maryland and mak-
ing the District of Columbia into a new state.
All proposals have been met with political or
constitutional challenges; therefore, there
has been no change in the District’s repres-
entation in the Congress.
See also: History of Washington, D.C. and
District of Columbia home rule
The "District Clause" in Article I, Section 8,
Clause 17 of the U.S. Constitution states:
[The Congress shall have 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, be-
come the seat of the government of
the United States.
The land on which the District is formed was
ceded by the state of Maryland in 1790 fol-
lowing the passage of the Residence Act. The
Congress did not officially move to the new
federal capital until 1800. Shortly thereafter,
the Congress passed the District of Columbia
Organic Act of 1801 and incorporated the
new federal District under its sole authority
as permitted by the District