About Us

About dcvrp

Most Americans don’t know the residents of our nation’s capital are denied the basic civil  right to vote for and elect representatives to the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.  We’re here to change that. And hopefully you are too. When enough people learn about this injustice and demand equal rights for all, we all win.

The excuses for allowing this disenfranchisement to continue for over 200 years do not hold up to the constitutional rights that a democratic system of government should promise its citizens.  When students in Washington, DC are taught that equal representation applies everywhere else in America except where they live, they know something isn’t right. It’s up to us to do something about it.

We see this as the unfinished business of the civil rights, voting rights, civil and voting rights movements of the last century.  If you missed those, here’s your chance to make a difference.  Join the DC Voting Rights Project. Let’s Make history.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the problem?

DC residents have no voting representation in Congress. Even though they participate equally in all other facets of US citizenship, they are the only Americans subject to taxation without representation.

How did this happen?

When delegates from the thirteen original colonies prepared a Declaration of Independence in 1776 and wrote a Constitution for the United States of America in 1789, what is now the District of Columbia was a part of Maryland. The US Constitution gave Congress the power to establish a capital city. George Washington led the campaign to create the District of Columbia on land ceded from the states of Maryland and Virginia in 1791.

From 1791 until 1801, the residents of the District of Columbia continued to have equal representation and voted in state and federal elections as Marylanders and Virginians. When Congress passed the Organic Act of 1801 that established a local government for the District of Columbia, DC residents lost their right to vote in Maryland or Virginia. In 1846, the part of the District that was ceded from Virginia (the City of Alexandria and the County of Arlington) was reunited with Virginia.

In 1961, the 23rd amendment to the US Constitution gave DC residents the right to vote for President through three Electoral College votes. A constitutional amendment to provide DC residents voting representation in Congress was proposed in 1978 but failed to be ratified by enough states in 1985. Congress defeated a proposal for DC statehood in 1993.

Despite having an elected local District of Columbia government since 1973, Congress continues to have the ultimate legislative and budgetary control over the District of Columbia even though DC residents are not represented in Congress.

What are the proposed solutions to provide District of Columbia resident’s federal voting rights?

1. The District of Columbia could be admitted to the union as the 51st state.

2. A constitutional amendment could provide Senate and House representation for the District of Columbia.

3. The people of the District of Columbia could be considered residents of the state of Maryland for the purposes of federal representation, eligible to run for and be represented in the House of Representatives by both a new House member apportioned as part of the Maryland delegation, and in the US Senate by the existing Maryland senators.

4. The District of Columbia could be reestablished as a political jurisdiction in the State of Maryland, just like original District of Columbia jurisdictions of Arlington County and Alexandria city were reincorporated back into Virginia in 1846. Washington would become a home-rule city in Maryland with a status similar to that of Baltimore City.

What does the DC Voting Rights project seek to achieve?

We want more Americans to know that residents of our nation’s capital are denied their basic voting rights. And we want them to do something about it.

We want them to know there are multiple solutions to gain those rights.

We are calling on Congress, DC, and the surrounding states of Maryland and Virginia to hold hearings that explore all the alternatives for providing DC residents the voting rights and home rule they deserve. We believe the time has come to seek a bi-partisan, constitutional solution to the problem.

Please join us! Sign Here!

Who are we?

We are concerned citizens who believe that partisan politics, racial prejudice or historical oversight are not acceptable reasons to deny the the residents of the capital of the United States of America the right to participate in the democracy in which they live.

We are a non-profit, educational voting rights organization that is member supported.