Wednesday, February 25, 2009

DC Voting Rights Throughout History

The authors of this blog are registered DC votes. As such, we'd like our votes to count.

Here is a nice history of DC voting rights compiled by the AP, going all the way up to today when the Senate moved toward restoring DC's House vote.

Key dates in push for DC voting rights

WASHINGTON (AP) — Key dates in the District of Columbia voting rights movement:

1790: The site for the new U.S. capital is selected. Residents continue to vote and run for Congress from their former states.

1801: Congress passes the Organic Act of 1801, which takes away voting rights from those living in the District of Columbia.

1961: The 23rd Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, giving D.C. residents the right to vote in presidential elections.

1970: D.C. residents are given the right to elect a nonvoting delegate to represent them in the House.

1973: The Home Rule Act allows for the direct election of the mayor and other city officials. Congress retains the right to review and overturn all D.C. laws.

1978: Congress passes a constitutional amendment that would give D.C. residents full voting representation in the House and Senate.

1985: The amendment fails to be ratified by the necessary three-fourths of state legislatures.

1993: D.C.'s congressional delegate is allowed to vote in the full House, except on final passage of legislation. The delegate also is prevented from casting any deciding votes. Previously, the delegate was allowed to vote only in House committees.

1995: Full House voting privileges for D.C.'s delegate are ended on the first day of the new session of Congress.

2000: The city adopts a new license plate motto: "Taxation Without Representation."

2007: The House passes a bill that would expand the 435-member House by two seats, giving one to historically Democratic D.C. and another to the traditionally Republican state of Utah, which is next in line to get an extra seat based on the 2000 census. The bill dies in the Senate.

2009: Similar legislation wins enough votes in the Senate to survive a filibuster, setting up a final vote that requires only a simple majority for passage. Senate approval would send the bill to the House, which could take it up in early March.

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