What Is the 17th Amendment?
The 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution states that the United States Senate should be made up of two Senators from each state.
Each Senator should have one vote and serve for six years after being elected. In addition, the candidates should meet all qualifications required by state legislatures.
If there happen to be any vacancies in the Senate, then there shall be a special direct election issued by the executive authority, which is typically the Governor.
However, the state legislature can also permit the Governor to fill any vacancy before people vote.
The 17th Amendment was ratified on April 8, 1913.
Senators’ Direct Election and Senators’ Votes
Under Article I, Section 3, the legislatures elect two Senators from each state. In the Federal Union, the Senators were in charge of representing the states, and the members of the House represented local voters.
However, a significant number of elections were mired in scandal due to unfair practices. Another issue was political discord amongst state legislators. This led to Progressives deciding to let voters elect Senators in every state.
The Seventeenth Amendment upholds the Senate election by a direct election.
The Dissatisfaction of Electing Senators
Before the 17th Amendment of the United States Constitution, there was a lack of satisfaction with electing Senators. This dissatisfaction ultimately led to the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment.
Many people were ready to exercise the clause, and several people were convinced that Senators should be elected just like Representatives were.
However, it had been discovered that there were many discrepancies involved in the previous election process.
There was enough evidence to prove that malpractices were occurring, and the method was no longer efficient.
Faults of Previous United States Senate Voting
Some of the faults linked to legislative selection include vacancies staying open for substantial periods due to deadlocks in the legislature.
Another issue was corruption. Groups with special interests and influential people prevented democracy from working as it should. Instead, they bought the legislative seats.
There were also extended electoral contests, which led to various consequences, such as legislators neglecting their other duties.
However, many States had created arrangements designed to give voters control over choosing Senators. All of this was before the Seventeenth Amendment was ratified.
Senate Election for the Seat
Amendments were made to state government laws to allow voters to appoint the one candidate they preferred for the senatorial seat among the party candidates running for office.
The nominations, on the other hand, were monitored. All nominations not officially executed were forwarded to the legislature for further action.
State Legislative Candidates
The legislatures were in charge of choosing the candidate to take the seat. They decided that the legislatures’ action was primarily based on shared understanding based on the popular vote’s majority preference.
The legislature was required to be unbiased in determining the winner for the senatorial seat. This happened in two States and was later approved by all in 1912.
At least 29 states had adopted this voting method for Senators before the Seventeenth Amendment was ratified, thus solidifying the United States Constitution.