November 16, 2017 | Supreme Court Decides Kernan v Cuero
The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as 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.
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
The place where the seat of government is located (Washington, D.C.) can pick Electors like this: The number of Electors will be figured as if the District of Columbia were a State, and the number would equal the number of Senators and Representatives of the smallest State. These Electors would be in addition to the Electors chosen by the States. For the election of the President and Vice President, the Electors will act like they are from a State. They will meet in the District of Columbia and follow the rules of the 12th amendment.
Congress has the power to enforce this amendment by law.
|Washington, D.C. and Presidential Elections||Important Cases|
|Since its founding, the residents of Washington, D.C. have sought voting rights similar to those afforded in other parts of the country. For example, according to Article I, Section 8, it is Congress – not a local government – that has direct control over Washington, D.C. Today, Washington’s local government serves only at the pleasure of Congress and only has whatever power directly given to it by Congress. In addition to that limitation on so-called “home rule,” the original Constitution only gave national election rights to citizens of a “state.” Meaning, residents of Washington, D.C., being a part of something other than a state, do not have representation in Congress in the form of Senators or members of the House of Representatives.|
While the above issues are still being debated, in 1960, the 23rd Amendment gave residents of Washington, D.C. the ability to at least vote in presidential elections. The text of the amendment is as follows:
In other words, Washington, D.C. is granted by this amendment the ability to have electors (those officials that represent states in the presidential elections) equal to how many electors it would have if Washington were a state. But, it is also not allowed to have more electors than those in the least populous state (which, today, is Wyoming, which has 3 electors).
Thus, today, the residents of Washington, D.C. are represented in the presidential election by 3 electors.