The District of Columbia, which is the capital of the United States, goes by the nickname of D.C. It was established on June 11, 1800. John Adams, the second U.S. President, was the first President to live there in the White House. The capital’s official flower is the American Beauty Rose and its official bird is the wood thrush. The name, Washington, DC, honors the first US President, George Washington while the name, Columbia is in honor of Christopher Columbus.
The official song of the capital and the U.S. is the “Star Spangled Banner.” The capital features seven national monuments and is famous for the White House, Supreme Court, Smithsonian Institute, Congressional Building, Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. The official motto is Justia Omnibus – “Justice for All.” That sentiment extends to felons who regain their right to vote for President in the nation’s capital.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), felons regain the right to vote after they are released from prison. Felons who are on parole or probation have the right to vote. Once you have served your sentence, you can vote again. Therefore, you need to re-register in order to vote. However, that vote only extends to the selection of the nation’s President.
Felon Voting Law in D.C.
Since 1801, people living in Washington, DC have not had the same voting rights as people living in the states. In fact, since the early 1960s, legislators have attempted to increase voting rights for people living in the capital. Some lawmakers have proposed making DC a state, providing the capital with House representation or permitting residents to vote as Maryland citizens.
At first, in 1790, people living in DC, or the ten-square mile of land ceded by Maryland and Virginia for the nation’s capital, had voting privileges. People, at the time, had the same rights legally to vote in state and federal elections as those enjoyed by people living in Virginia and Maryland. Through the year 1800, DC residents voted for members of the Virginia and Maryland legislatures and for members of the House of Representatives.
However, in 1801, after the federal government officially completed its move to DC, Congress passed legislation in the form of the Organic Act of 1801. While the act provided management of the national’s capital, it did not include a provision for voting in local, state or federal elections. As a result, DC residents have not had representation in Congress since that time.
However, the twenty-third amendment to the US Constitution of June 16, 1960 did grant the right to vote in Presidential elections to District of Columbia residents. (Thirty-eight states ratified the text of the amendment on March 29, 1861.)
How a Felon in D.C. Can Restore Their Voting Rights
According to the District of Columbia Board of Elections (DCBOE), to register to vote, you must live in the District of Columbia and be at least 16 years of age. (Residents can pre-register to vote at 16 years old. However, they will not receive a voter registration card until they are 17 years old, with the date of birth showing that they will be 18 by the next election date.) All applicants must be legally competent to vote as well. To vote in a primary election, residents should register as a Republican, Democrat or claim their affiliation with the D.C. Statehood Green Party.
In order to register by mail, you must include your social security number, DMV-issued ID number or driver’s license number. If registering for the first time, you should also include a copy of one of the following –
· Valid governmental photo ID
· Copy of current utility bill
· Copy of current bank statement
· Copy of current government check
· Stub of paycheck
Other government paperwork that indicates name/address of the voter
Other Resources For Felons in D.C.
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