The 17th Amendment

By Tim Guidera - bio | email

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) – The government stated to be of, for and by the people was delivered a little more to the people by the 17th Amendment, which provided that senators be elected by popular vote.

Prior to 1913, although they were representing the people of a state, senators were selected by the state legislature. The original procedure was changed to eliminate the disruption caused by deadlocked votes and corruption that included the buying of votes. It also gave citizens more of a say in their government.

"That makes the senators much more responsive to the people,'' said U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA). "For example, Johnny Isakson 's up for reelections right now. He's making the rounds to all 159 Georgia counties. If he was elected by the state legislature, out of 180 people, he would only need 91 on his side. So I think it makes the senate far more responsive to the populace.''

Although it did solve one issue by giving the vote to the people, the 17th Amendment introduced another, creating the need for prospective senators to raise campaign finances.

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