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DC Voting Rights: A Survey of AARP Members

AARP Member Opinion Research

Under the Constitution, Congress has exclusive legislative authority over the District of Columbia’s government and 600,000 residents. District citizens were granted the right to vote in presidential elections in 1961, and limited Congressional representation in 1993. Since 1974, DC residents have been able to elect a limited home rule government that is paid for mostly through local taxes. While they pay federal and local taxes, and serve in the armed forces, District residents do not have full voting representation in Congress.

To learn how AARP members across the country feel about DC’s lack of voting representation, AARP District of Columbia commissioned this survey which found that:

  • 64 percent support giving District residents voting rights in Congress
  • 62 percent are unaware that DC residents currently do not have full voting representation in Congress
  • 61 percent are aware that District residents pay federal income taxes

Most agreed that the following arguments are convincing reasons for supporting DC voting rights:

  • DC is a community like other American communities (86 percent)
  • Taxation without representation is wrong (80 percent)
  • Denial of democracy to DC citizens reflects poorly on all Americans (79 percent)

The nationwide telephone survey of 1,000 AARP members, excluding those in DC, was conducted by Woelfel Research for AARP in July 2006. Respondents described themselves as conservative (40 percent), moderate (31 percent) or liberal (15 percent). Further information about the survey may be obtained by contacting the report’s author, Erica Dinger, at 202-434-6176. (13 pages)

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