Timelines
Popular Election of the Senate

  • 1787
    Article I, Section 3 Adopted

  • 1826
    House Proposes Direct Election Of Senators

  • 1865
    States Vary In How Senators Are Elected

  • 1884
    Congress Has Power To Protect Right To Vote In Federal Election

  • 1886
    U.S. Law Passed To Regulate 'Time And Procedure' For Electing Senators

  • 1893
    Constitutional Amendment For Direct Election Of Senators Proposed

  • 1896
    Populist Party Calls For Direct Senate Elections In Platform

  • 1906
    Magazine Articles Push For Reform

  • 1907
    Oregon Permits Voters To Designate Whom They Want As Senator

  • 1911
    Senate Supports Constitutional Change

  • 1912
    17th Amendment Sent To States For Ratification

  • 1913
    States Ratify Seventeenth Amendment

  • 1915
    Right To Vote For Senator Protected In Constitution
    Civil Rights Act Protects Right To Have Vote Counted

  • 1921
    Congress Can Regulate Primary Elections For Senate

  • 1928
    Senate Committee Has Power To Investigate Election

  • 1941
    States Cannot Discriminate Based On Race In Primary Election

  • 1947
    Hatch Act Upheld; Dissent Says It Violates 17th Amendment

  • 1948
    Illinois Requirement On Signatures Upheld

  • 1950
    Georgia's 'Unit Voting' Scheme Allowed By Federal Courts

  • 1959
    Court Upholds Voter Literacy Tests

  • 1962
    Court Rules Legislative Districts Must Be Relatively Equal In Size

  • 1964
    Poll Tax Or Certificate Of Residency Requirement Struck Down
    One Person, One Vote Required
    Size Of Congressional Districts Should Be Equal

  • 1969
    In Reversal, Court Rules Illinois Signature Law Unconstitutional

  • 1970
    Congress Cannot Set Voter Age Requirement For State Elections

  • 1986
    Court Rejects Conn. Law Restricting Party Primary Voters

  • 1995
    Ark. Amendment On Congressional Term Limits Unconstitutional

  • 1997
    Louisiana's October Election Day Violates Federal Law

  • 2004
    Senator Calls For Repeal Of Seventeenth Amendment