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Summary of the 23rd Amendment to the United States Constitution

Shruti Bhat Feb 12, 2020
The right to vote is a privilege bestowed upon a few and is not to be taken lightly. Many have in fact fought to earn this privilege. Once such grand act was the 23rd Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Quick Fact

The 23rd Amendment was passed by the Congress on June 16, 1960. It was formally ratified on March 29, 1961 and was one of the key events that took place during John F. Kennedy's presidency.
Prior to the adoption of the 23rd Amendment, citizens of the District of Columbia were not entitled to any electors. Which meant that they could not take part in the presidential and vice-presidential election process. This is because D.C. is not a state.
Therefore, this amendment gave the residents of District of Columbia the right to elect their chosen presidential candidate by granting them with district electors in the Electoral College, as if it were a state. Following is the summary of the twenty-third amendment.

Summary of the 23rd Amendment

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 23rd Amendment gives the people of the District of Columbia, the right to vote for representatives in the Electoral College. It also states that these electors would be entitled to the district as if it were a state.
However, the number of these members cannot exceed the number of members of the least populous state. The electors of D.C. will be in addition to the states' electors and will be counted for the electing purposes. These voting member shall meet and vote as per the details mentioned in the 12th Amendment.
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

However, Congress will have the authority to decide how the electors will be chosen and have the power to make the laws and enforce this amendment.


For 23rd Amendment to be valid, it needed to be ratified by legislatures of 34 states in seven years from submission to the state by Congress. Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada favored it.
New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming also ratified this amendment. Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Texas, Virginia did not participate.