By Victoria Foreman
Sections 1 and 2. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the 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 12th article of amendment.
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
March 29, 1961
The 23rd Amendment extended the right to vote in presidential elections to residents of the District of Columbia in presidential elections. Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution established the process by which the Electoral College elects the president of the United States, but only granted electors to the states. The 23rd Amendment provides voters in the District of Columbia with Electoral College electors, but limits their number to that of the least populous state, which is currently Wyoming with three electors.
Victoria Foreman is a lecturer in the Political Science Department at California Lutheran University.