Filled with the long-rallied cry of “no taxation without representation,” supporters of D.C. Statehood will finally get a chance to vote on just that.

On Election Day, the district will vote on its first referendum on becoming the country’s 51st State, something that would eventually have to amend U.S. Constitution if it were to happen.

The Guardian reports that the District of Columbia was created to serve as the U.S. capital, but is not a state. Its 672,000 (majority black) residents pay federal taxes but have no voting representative in the Senate or House of Representatives.

Advocates hope a yes vote on Tuesday could help pressure the new Congress and new president to admit the District of Columbia as a state, though even advocates admit that is unlikely anytime soon. A yes vote would simply be an expression of public support, a non-binding measure without any legal teeth.

For the district to become a state, Congress would have to propose an amendment to the Constitution, which would then have to win a two-thirds majority vote in both the Senate and the House. Even if an amendment could win approval in both houses of Congress, it would face another big hurdle: approval by the legislatures of at least three-quarters of the 50 states.

Because it’s a (majority-black) city under Federal control, advocates have long accused the Republican controlled House and Senate in interfering with issues in the district such as abortion and marijuana legalization. Also, the left-leaning area would elect Democratic representatives to Congress, something Republicans are not quick to push for.

The referendum, the first to be held on the issue, seeks to upend the Constitution’s provision giving Congress legislative control over the District of Columbia. Voters will cast a single yes or no vote on the referendum’s four parts: admission as a state, its boundaries, approval of a Constitution and guarantees of a representative form of government.

The new state would embrace the current 68 sq mile district except for a core of federal property around the White House, Capitol and National Mall.

Read more at the Guardian.

The Root