Kelley Calls for Senate Approval of Voting Rights for DC Residents


9/14/07: NTEU President Colleen Kelley today called on the Senate to join the House in approving legislation that would expand voting rights for residents of the District of Columbia by providing them with voting representation in the House of Representatives.

In a letter to senators, President Kelley said S. 1257, introduced by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), “would correct a grave injustice—namely, the disenfranchisement of American citizens who live in the District of Columbia.” She noted that a great many NTEU members are District residents.

At present, District of Columbia residents can vote in presidential elections, and do elect a non-voting representative to the House. The pending legislation would increase voting membership in the House by two seats; based on census data, the other seat would be awarded to Utah.

The NTEU leader said that voting representation in Congress for the District’s nearly 600,000 residents “is long overdue.” Its residents, she wrote, “bear all the responsibilities of other American citizens—they pay taxes, serve on juries, are subject to federal laws, and, as I write this letter, many are bravely serving their country in Iraq and Afghanistan or in other ways.”