Norton to Address D.C. Electoral College Tonight on Giving Up D.C.'s Electoral Votes for Statehood

Press Release

By:  Eleanor Norton
Date: Dec. 17, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) will speak at the official meeting of the District of Columbia Electoral College tonight, December 17, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at the John A. Wilson Building (1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Room 500). Norton will remind residents that on this occasion, they are "the exact equivalent of the 50 states, courtesy of the 23rd Amendment." Norton said that there are seven states that, like the District, have only three electoral votes, and believes there could come an occasion where the seven small states and the District should consider forming a coalition in future elections. The D.C. Council joined nine states this year by passing legislation that gives the city's electoral votes to whichever candidate wins the national popular vote. This proposal, if approved by enough states to reach the electoral majority of 270 votes, would replace the winner-take-all method used by all except two states. It also would make more states competitive in presidential elections, instead of only seven or eight battleground states.

"It is time for the District to be a state in more than electoral votes," Norton said. "If we had been a state, our fight to keep the city from shutting down three times this Congress would not have occurred. The current fight to have the military display D.C.'s flag when the flags of the 50 states are displayed would have been unnecessary. The D.C. War Memorial, which we have just saved, would never have been in jeopardy of nationalization. The Frederick Douglass statue, which is going to the U.S. Capitol soon, would not have necessitated a fight because some senators identify the statue with statehood. The six months it took to defeat the post-20-week D.C.-only abortion ban bill would have been unnecessary. And the D.C. budget would be nobody's business except for the citizens of New Columbia. As pleased as we are to have three electoral votes, we would be more pleased to have the 23rd Amendment repealed with our statehood bill. Then, our three electoral votes would be a matter of right requiring no special constitutional amendment."

The Congresswoman noted that President Obama won the electoral college vote 332-206.

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