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DC Statehood: District of Columbia Votes Overwhelmingly to Pursue It

Image: DC Statehood: District of Columbia Votes Overwhelmingly to Pursue It

The Capitol Building is pictured on Nov. 8, 2016 in Washington, D.C. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 09 Nov 2016 03:39 PM

When voters in D.C. went to the polls yesterday, they approved a measure that will formally request statehood for the district.

With two-thirds of the votes tallied, 86 percent of voters said yes to a referendum that asked the D.C. Council to petition Congress to make the “State of New Columbia” the 51st state in the Union, NBC4 Washington reported. The main reason residents want statehood for the district is so that it will have Congressional representation in the House and Senate.

“Despite the fact that we perform all the functions of a state, Washingtonians do not enjoy the rights of all Americans,” Mayor Muriel Bowser noted in a June speech to the Democratic National Committee, NBC4 reported. D.C. residents pay federal taxes and fight in the military just like all other citizens.

“Today’s over-the-top majority signals D.C. recognizes that Congress needs a kick in the pants to jump start a new drive for statehood,” Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said, according to NBC4.

Republican members of Congress have consistently come out against D.C. statehood, however, and Democrats, while more supportive, see it as a low priority.

Third-generation Washingtonian Kathy Jasper voted for the referendum. “We pay federal taxes like we’re a state. We need to see some of the benefits of being a state,” she said, The Washington Post reported. She said she didn’t hold out hope that it would happen soon, but that it was an important issue.

The referendum would create a state that covered the residential areas of the D.C., while a small federal district would remain that covered government buildings and monuments.

Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton supported statehood, while Donald Trump called it a "tough issue."

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When voters in D.C. went to the polls yesterday, they approved a measure that will formally request statehood for the district.
dc, statehood
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2016-39-09
Wednesday, 09 Nov 2016 03:39 PM
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