HBO’s John Oliver sings for D.C. voting rights

WASHINGTON — Getting statehood, or at least voting rights, has driven HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver to song.

Sunday night, Oliver pointed out the United States is the only democracy that doesn’t give voting rights to the residents of its capital.

With his pointed humor, Oliver recalled the last time voting rights for the District came up for a vote in Congress, only two members were present for the debate.

“That’s not just a pathetic attendance for a hearing on Capitol Hill,;that would be pathetic for a one-year-old’s birthday party,” said Oliver.

Oliver did offer a suggestion to get voting rights for residents of the District, but people in Florida might have a problem with the suggestion.

A group dedicated to getting voting rights for District residents is pleased with Oliver’s rant.

“More than half of Americans across the country have absolutely no idea that D.C. residents don’t have voting rights,” said Kimberly Perry, executive director of D.C. Vote.

She says Oliver’s show educated millions nationwide.

“It’s going to take a lot more support outside of the District of Columbia for us to finally win this fight, so this is really an important and symbolic day,” said Perry.

Watch John Oliver’s take on D.C.’s voting rights. Note coarse language.


Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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