A History of the Debate

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Here are some key dates in the debate over D.C. voting rights:

1960 -- Congress passes a proposed constitutional amendment that would give the District three electoral votes in presidential elections. States ratify the bill within about nine months, making the 23rd Amendment's adoption the second-fastest in history.

1964 -- D.C. residents vote for president for the first time in more than 160 years.

1971 -- Congress gives the District the right to elect a nonvoting member of the House.

1973 -- Congress passes the Home Rule Act, giving D.C. residents the right to elect their mayor and 13-member council. Congress retains the right to review and overturn locally passed laws.

Carter Backs D.C. Congressional Vote

1978 -- The House and Senate approve a proposed constitutional amendment giving full voting rights to the District. The amendment requires ratification by three-fourths of the states within seven years to become law.

Petitions Filed for D.C. Statehood
D.C. Gambling, Statehood Bid Now Official
D.C. Statehood: Liberals Could Scuttle Chances

Disputes Snarl D.C. Statehood Convention Meeting
Delegates Begin Writing Constitution for District
Banneker? Rock Creek? Delegates Propose Name for 51st State
A Constitution Is Approved for 'New Columbia'
D.C. Voters Approve Statehood Constitution and Nuclear Freeze
D.C. Statehood: Delegates Set

1985 -- The constitutional amendment backed by Congress in 1978 dies. Only 16 states ratify it, and 38 are needed for approval.
Kennedy Introduces Bill Urging Statehood for D.C.

New Strategy for Statehood Proposed

1993 -- The House defeats a bill sponsored by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) that would have granted statehood to the District.

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