17th Amendment

Popular Election of Senators

Passed by Congress May 13, 1912. Ratified April 8, 1913. The 17th Amendment changed a portion of Article I, Section 3

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

Read Interpretations of the 17th Amendment

More about 17th Amendment

The Drafting Table

Explore key historical documents that inspired the Framers of the Constitution and each amendment during the drafting process, the early drafts and major proposals behind each provision, and discover how the drafters deliberated, agreed and disagreed, on the path to compromise and the final text.

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Media Library: 17th Amendment

Blog Post

On this day, the 17th Amendment is ratified

On April 8, 1913, Connecticut became the 36th state to ratify the Constitution’s 17th Amendment. Learn about the only amendment…

Apr 8

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