Would DC Statehood Also Give the Trumps Three Electoral Votes?Breaking News
tags: Constitution, Electoral College, Washington DC, Donald Trump
This summer, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 51, a bill that would make D.C. the country’s 51st state. Once a provincial cause, statehood for the District has taken on vast significance in national partisan politics: In addition to enfranchising hundreds of thousands of residents, many strategists now think DC statehood is essential to Democrats holding long-term power in the Senate. For the first time ever, every candidate in the Democratic presidential primary was a supporter of DC statehood.
But there’s an odd wrinkle buried in H.R. 51 which could make statehood a proposition that’s costlier than Democrats think: Under their bill, there remains a federally controlled district in the middle of Washington, one that’s reduced to a few blocks around the Mall. And under the Constitution, the federal capital is guaranteed three electoral votes—whether it’s a big city or merely a tiny enclave surrounded by the 51st state.
And according to maps of the new enclave, it appears that the only actual residence in this federal district is the one at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, meaning the voters at said residence—currently the home of Donald and Melania Trump—would control as many electoral votes as the entire population of Wyoming.
This absurd situation might be difficult to unwind. Creating a new state only requires a majority vote in Congress and a presidential signature. But the votes that the capital is guaranteed by the 23rd Amendment to the Constitution, something that needs a supermajority in Congress and also requires ratification by two-thirds of the states.
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