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The Nation's Capital to Vote on Full Statehood


On the ballot in the nation’s capital on Nov. 8: whether the District of Columbia should become the 51st state.

D.C. is home to more than 650,000 residents who do not have a voting representative in the Senate, though they do have a delegate in the House, and all residents must pay federal taxes.

The lack of a vote in the more senior house of Congress is a sticking point with many D.C. residents. A popular version of the city’s license plates is emblazoned with the phrase “Taxation Without Representation.”

If the referendum on the ballot is successful, District leaders would bring the plan to Congress. But, even if that were to happen, the District will still be a long way from becoming a state.

Here’s a look at the specifics of what District residents will consider on Tuesday.

What’s on the Ballot

The referendum asks voters if they want to turn the nation’s capital into a new state and includes language calling for the end of Congress having control over D.C.

The ballot measure mimics the bid by Tennessee in the 1700s to become a state, which asked voters to approve the new state’s boundaries and pledge to support a representative form of government.

What the 51st State Would Look Like

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has proposed calling the state “New Columbia.” It would likely be smaller than the city’s current boundaries.

Federal property would be carved out around the White House, Capitol and National Mall for a federal district, as is required by the

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