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A growing and diversifying economy has 706,000 people living in the city, more than Vermont or Wyoming.

First vote by Congress for D.C. statehood lays the ground for next year

The House has voted for the first time to rectify one of the most counterintuitive quirks of American democracy:

People living in the national capital have less of a voice in the national government than all the rest of the nation — consigned to the same second-class status, taxation without representation, which sparked the Revolution that created the country.

Legislation to change that, by making the District of Columbia the 51st state, was approved 232-180 on Friday, the only passage of such a statehood measure by either chamber in the history of Congress.

But the almost purely party-line tally in the Democratic House will be the proposal's symbolically resonant high-water mark, at least for the year. That's because the Republican Senate had made plain it has zero interest in the measure, even before President Trump made explicit this week that he would veto it.

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D.C. primary plagued with problems

District of Columbia residents waited in long lines with poor social distancing to cast their primary ballots Tuesday in an election that took place amid concerns over the Covid-19 outbreak and Mayor Muriel Bowser's citywide curfew.

The elections in the overwhelmingly Democratic city were for national and local races. Results on Tuesday night indicated progressive Janeese Lewis George ousted moderate incumbent Brandon Todd, a close ally of Bowser, while voters also soundly rejected the scandal-ridden Jack Evans, who was aiming to reclaim the Ward 2 council chair he relinquished this January. In the Democratic presidential primary, Joe Biden cemented his place as the presumptive nominee with nearly 77 percent of the vote.

The D.C. Board of Elections had encouraged all eligible voters to use mail-in ballots, but many voters said they never received ballots or received them too late. When results were released, about 50,000 absentee ballots had been counted. In a post-election press release, the board said it received 91,000 requests for absentee ballots, which is far higher than the 6,000 requests it usually fills. Some voters were allowed to cast ballots in PDF form via email, but many showed up at polling centers eager to make their voices heard.

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Poll workers in Bloomington, Ind., wear face shields and hand gloves as precautions against Covid-19 during Tuesday's primary votting.

Tuesday’s voting delivers big warnings about readiness for fall

Major worries expressed by election officials and good-government groups all came true on the biggest day of voting since the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the country: absentee ballots that were never delivered, long lines for those who voted in person and results that have not been fully tabulated a day later.

At the same time, records were broken Tuesday in several states for turnout in a primary, with citizens seemingly determined to cast their ballots despite the extraordinary circumstance of holding elections during both a deadly pandemic and a time of violent civil unrest.

The principal takeaway is that plenty of work needs to be completed and improvements made in just five months, or else the country may not be able to conduct a safe and reliable presidential election — and potentially one with record turnout.

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Democracy Madness: Top-seeded 'best of the rest' dominate the last Elite Eight

The top seven seeds have all made it through to the Elite Eight round in the "Best of the Rest" division of Democracy Madness — our tournament where readers are deciding which of 64 ideas for fixing the government they want most.

The only minor upset in the opening round of our final quarter: The notion of conducting more extensive audits of election results, our ninth seed, barely snuck past the idea of creating federal standards for all voting machines, slotted eighth.

Now it's time to whittle it down to four. The voting lasts until Sunday night.

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