Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

The times, places, and manner of holding elections for Senators shall be as prescribed in each State by the legislature thereof.

Most importantly, the Seventeenth Amendment removed state government representation from the legislative arm of the federal government. Originally, the people themselves did not elect Senators; instead, states appointed Senators. The Senators represented the states' interests, while the House of Representatives represented the interests of the people.

The Seventeenth Amendment altered the process for electing United States senators and changed the way vacancies would be filled. Originally, the Constitution required state legislatures to fill Senate vacancies.