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Letter: D.C. statehood would grant oversized election power

Letter: D.C. statehood would grant oversized election power

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DC statehood approved by House as Senate fight looms

In this April 21, 2021, photo, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., joins Del. Eleanor Holmes-Norton, D-D.C., left, at a news conference ahead of the House vote on H.R. 51, the Washington, DC Admission Act, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Proponents of statehood for Washington, D.C., face a milestone moment in their decades-long movement to reshape the American political map. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Regarding "Editorial: Whether by statehood or annexation, D.C. residents need a voice in Congress" (April 25): Unless the 23rd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is repealed, if Congress grants statehood to the District of Columbia, it would give a city with a population of about 700,000 six electoral votes — as many as there are now assigned to Utah, Iowa, Nevada and Arkansas, each of which has a population over 3 million.

How would this happen? The District would be entitled to three electoral votes upon becoming a state. The portion of the District that was reserved as the seat of government mandated by Article I of the Constitution would be entitled to three additional electoral votes under the 23rd Amendment. The handful of people residing and voting in this new city-state would choose as many electors as are now awarded to several states.

In the unlikely event that Maryland were to annex the territory it ceded for the federal district in 1790, without the repeal of the 23rd Amendment the federal district established by Article I, however small it might be, would still be entitled to three electoral votes. The few voters who happened to reside in this district would wield far more influence in presidential elections on a per capita basis than anyone else in America.

Thomas F. Schlafly • St. Louis

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