Election season is in full swing this time of year, and despite the fact that most of the races are at the local or state level there is still a bit of buzz. Commercials, road signs and smiling candidates are waving from the sides of roads and campaigning for local initiatives. For residents of the 50 states, the ability to vote in these elections, and equally important the Presidential election, is a right that is a given. But for one part of the country, having a say in the country's next leader wasn't always an option. Oddly enough, it is the same part of the country that is home to the White House, Capitol building and all those Smithsonians.
In 1961, the 23rd Amendment to the Constitution was passed, allowing residents of the District of Columbia to vote for President. Those living there cast their ballots for the first time in 1964 (Lyndon Johnson vs. Barry Goldwater) giving their three electoral votes to the candidate of their choosing. The only elections that D.C. residents were eligible to vote in prior to that were for party officials and delegates to the Democratic and Republican national conventions.
Since those of us in Washington (the state) have been able to vote in elections of any kind for more than 47 years, this could serve as a timely reminder that our Election Day is just around the corner - November 8th. Look for ballot drop-off boxes in your local area or be sure to postmark your ballot by Election Day!