The Green Papers: General Election 2000

Copyright www.flags.net/UNST.htm 106th Congress
Senate Seats by State
  • 100 Seats in the current Senate
    • 54 Republican
    • 46 Democrat
  • 34 Seats up for election in 2000
    • 19 Republican
    • 15 Democrat
  • 34 Elected
    • 19 Democrat
    • 15 Republican

  • 66 Senate seats not up for election in 2000
    • 35 Republican
    • 31 Democrat
  • 5 Open Seats (voluntary retirement, seeking other political office, term limits)
    • 4 Democrat
    • 1 Republican
  • 28 Incumbents renominated by same party
    • 18 Republican
    • 10 Democrat
  • 1 Incumbents General Election status not yet determined (primaries and/or nominating conventions yet to be held)
    • 1 Democrat
  • 138 Candidates seeking Senate Seats
    • 34 Republican
    • 34 Democrat
    • 23 Libertarian
    • 12 Independent
    • 10 Reform
    • 8 Natural Law
    • 8 Green
    • 4 Constitution
    • 2 Independence
    • 1 Vermont Grassroots
    • 1 Right-to-Life
    • 1 Liberty Union

This is a list of the current Senate seats, the incumbents occupying them, and the candidacy status of said incumbents. Seats up for election in the year 2000 (all so-called "Class 1" seats for the term 3 January 2001 through 2 January 2007 and former Georgia Senator Paul Coverdell's "Class 3" seat) appear in boldface.

To capture control of the Senate, the Democrats would need a net 5 seat increase. That is, they would have to come out of the 2000 General Election with a 20-14 split in their favor among these 34 seats up for election.

There have been two deaths and/or resignations in this Congress:

  • Republican Senator John Chafee of RHODE ISLAND passed away October 24, 1999. His seat was a "Class 1" up for re-election this November. Republican Lincoln Chafee was appointed to fill this seat.
  • Senator Paul Coverdell of GEORGIA passed away July 18, 2000. His seat was a "Class 3" up for re-election November 2, 2004. Democrat Zell Miller was appointed to fill this seat. There will be a SPECIAL (that is, a NON-Class 1) ELECTION to fill this seat November 7, 2000.

Last modified
  President (short)    President (long)    Governors    Senate Classes    House    States Alphabetically    States Chronologically  
      

Alaska  6-year term

Class 2 Republican  Ted Stevens
Appointed by Governor Walter J. Hickel (Republican) on 24 December 1968, to fill vacancy caused by the death of Senator E. L. Bartlett (Democrat): 11 December 1968; elected to finish out the term in a Special Election: 1970; elected to first full term: 1972; re-elected: 1978, 1984, 1990, 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Class 3 Republican  Frank H. Murkowski
First elected: 1980; re-elected: 1986, 1992, 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Alabama  6-year term

Class 2 Republican  Jeff Sessions
First elected: 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Class 3 Republican  Richard Shelby
First elected as a Democrat: 1986; re-elected: 1992; Changed Party affiliation to Republican: 9 November 1994; re-elected as a Republican: 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Arkansas  6-year term

Class 2 Republican  Tim Hutchinson
First elected: 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Class 3 Democrat  Blanche Lambert Lincoln
First elected: 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Arizona  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedRepublican  Jon Kyl
First elected: 1994; re-elected 2000
Renominated - 12 September 2000 Primary
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 3 Republican  John McCain
First elected: 1986; re-elected: 1992, 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

California  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedDemocrat  Dianne Feinstein
First elected to finish out the term in a Special Election: 1992 [held to fill vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator Pete Wilson (Republican): 7 January 1991- which John Seymour (Republican) had been appointed by Governor Pete Wilson (Republican) to fill, 10 January 1991];
Elected to full term: 1994; re-elected 2000
Renominated - 7 March 2000 Primary
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 3 Democrat  Barbara Boxer
First elected: 1992; re-elected: 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Colorado  6-year term

Class 2 Republican  Wayne Allard
First elected: 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Class 3 Republican  Ben Nighthorse Campbell
First elected as a Democrat: 1992; Changed Party affiliation to Republican: 3 March 1995; re-elected as a Republican: 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Connecticut  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedDemocrat  Joe Lieberman
First elected: 1988; re-elected: 1994, 2000
Renominated - by Convention
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 3 Democrat  Christopher J. Dodd
First elected: 1980; re-elected: 1986, 1992, 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Delaware  6-year term

Class 1 Republican  William V. Roth, Jr.
First elected: 1970; re-elected: 1976, 1982, 1988, 1994
Renominated - 9 September Primary
 WinnerDemocrat  Governor Thomas R. Carper

Class 2 Democrat  Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
First elected: 1972; re-elected: 1978, 1984, 1990, 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Florida  6-year term

Class 1 Republican  Connie Mack
First elected: 1988; re-elected: 1994. Previously served in the House of Representatives.
Open Seat. Not a candidate.
 WinnerDemocrat  Bill Nelson

Class 3 Democrat  Bob Graham
First elected: 1986; re-elected: 1992, 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Georgia  6-year term

Class 2 Democrat  Max Cleland
First elected: 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Class 3ReelectedDemocrat  Zell Miller
Appointed by Governor Roy E. Barnes (Democrat) on 27 July 2000, to fill vacancy caused by the death of Senator Paul Coverdell (Republican): 24 July 2000; elected to serve the remainder of Senator Coverdell's term: 2000
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 7, 2000. Election status not yet determined.
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Hawaii  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedDemocrat  Daniel K. Akaka
Appointed by Governor John Waihee (Democrat) 16 May 1990, to fill vacancy caused by the death of Senator Spark M. Matsunaga (Democrat): 15 April 1990; elected to finish out the term in a Special Election: 1990; elected to full term: 1994; re-elected 2000
Renominated - 23 September 2000 Primary
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 3 Democrat  Daniel K. Inouye
First elected: 1962; re-elected: 1968, 1974, 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Iowa  6-year term

Class 2 Democrat  Tom Harkin
First elected: 1984; re-elected: 1990, 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Class 3 Republican  Charles Grassley
First elected: 1980; re-elected: 1986, 1992, 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Idaho  6-year term

Class 2 Republican  Larry E. Craig
First elected: 1990; re-elected: 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Class 3 Republican  Mike Crapo
First elected: 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Illinois  6-year term

Class 2 Democrat  Richard J. Durbin
First elected: 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Class 3 Republican  Peter G. Fitzgerald
First elected: 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Indiana  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedRepublican  Richard G. Lugar
First elected: 1976; re-elected: 1982, 1988, 1994, 2000
Renominated - 2 May 2000 Primary
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 3 Democrat  Evan Bayh
First elected: 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Kansas  6-year term

Class 2 Republican  Pat Roberts
First elected: 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Class 3 Republican  Sam Brownback
First elected to finish out the term in a Special Election: 1996 [held to fill vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator Robert J. Dole: 11 June 1996- which Sheila Frahm (Republican) had been appointed by Governor Bill Graves (Republican) to fill, 11 June 1996]; elected to a full term: 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Kentucky  6-year term

Class 2 Republican  Mitch McConnell
First elected: 1984; re-elected: 1990, 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Class 3 Republican  Jim Bunning
First elected: 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Louisiana  6-year term

Class 2 Democrat  Mary L. Landrieu
First elected: 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Class 3 Democrat  John B. Breaux
First elected: 1986; re-elected: 1992, 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Massachusetts  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedDemocrat  Edward M. Kennedy
First elected to finish out the term in a Special Election: 1962 [held to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator John F. Kennedy (Democrat): 22 December 1960- which Benjamin A. Smith II (Democrat) had been appointed by Governor Foster Furcolo (Democrat) to fill, 27 December 1960]; elected to first full term: 1964; re-elected: 1970, 1976, 1982, 1988, 1994, 2000
Renominated - 19 September 2000 Primary
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 2 Democrat  John F. Kerry
First elected: 1984; re-elected: 1990, 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Maryland  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedDemocrat  Paul Sarbanes
First elected: 1976; re-elected: 1982, 1988, 1994, 2000
Renominated - 7 March 2000 Primary
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 3 Democrat  Barbara A. Mikulski
First elected: 1986; re-elected: 1992, 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Maine  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedRepublican  Olympia J. Snowe
First elected: 1994; re-elected 2000
Renominated - 13 June 2000 Primary
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 2 Republican  Susan M. Collins
First elected: 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Michigan  6-year term

Class 1 Republican  Spencer Abraham
First elected: 1994
Renominated - 8 August 2000 Primary
 WinnerDemocrat  Congressman Debbie Stabenow

Class 2 Democrat  Carl Levin
First elected: 1978; re-elected: 1984, 1990, 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Minnesota  6-year term

Class 1 Republican  Rod Grams
First elected: 1994
Renominated - 12 September 2000 Primary
 WinnerDemocrat  Mark Dayton

Class 2 Democrat  Paul D. Wellstone
First elected: 1990; re-elected: 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Missouri  6-year term

Class 1 Republican  John Ashcroft
First elected: 1994
Renominated - 8 August 2000 Primary
 WinnerDemocrat  Governor Mel Carnahan
Monday 16 October 2000: Governor Carnahan was killed in a plane crash. If the late Governor Carnahan were to be "elected" come 7 November over the incumbent Senator John Ashcroft, then a vacancy would exist in the Class 1 Senate seat from Missouri as of the expiration of Ashcroft's term at Noon, 3 January 2001.
 
On Monday, October 30, 2000 Gov. Mel Carnahanís widow, Jean Carnahan, 66, declared that she would accept the appointment to the Senate should voters elect her late husband.

Class 3 Republican  Christopher "Kit" Bond
First elected: 1986; re-elected: 1992, 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Mississippi  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedRepublican  Trent Lott
First elected: 1988; re-elected: 1994, 2000
Renominated - Tuesday 14 March 2000 Primary
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 2 Republican  Thad Cochran
First elected: 1978; re-elected: 1984, 1990, 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Montana  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedRepublican  Conrad Burns
First elected: 1988; re-elected: 1994, 2000
Renominated - 6 June 2000 Primary
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 2 Democrat  Max Baucus
First elected: 1978; re-elected: 1984, 1990, 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

North Carolina  6-year term

Class 2 Republican  Jesse Helms
First elected: 1972; re-elected: 1978, 1984, 1990, 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Class 3 Democrat  John Edwards
First elected: 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

North Dakota  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedDemocrat  Kent Conrad
First elected to the "Class 3" seat from the state: 1986; was not a candidate for re-election in the 3 November 1992 General Election; Elected to finish out the "Class 1" term in a Special Election: 4 December 1992 [held to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Senator Quentin N. Burdick (Democrat): 8 September 1992- which Jocelyn B. Burdick (Democrat) had been appointed by Governor George Sinner (Democrat) to fill, 12 September 1992]; elected to a full term: 1994, 2000
Renominated - 13 June 2000 Primary
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 3 Democrat  Byron L. Dorgan
First elected: 1992; was induced to take the oath of office: 5 December 1992 when the seat became vacant upon outgoing Senator Kent Conrad (Democrat) having taken the oath of office for the "Class 1" seat from the state; re-elected: 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Nebraska  6-year term

Class 1 Democrat  Bob Kerrey
Elected: 1988; re-elected: 1994
Open Seat. Senator Kerrey was not a candidate for re-election.
 WinnerDemocrat  Ben Nelson

Class 2 Republican  Chuck Hagel
First elected: 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

New Hampshire  6-year term

Class 2 Republican  Robert C. "Bob" Smith
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Class 3 Republican  Judd Gregg
First elected: 1992; re-elected: 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

New Jersey  6-year term

Class 1 Democrat  Frank R. Lautenberg
First elected: 1982, relected: 1988, 1994
Open Seat. Senator Lautenberg not a candidate.
 WinnerDemocrat  Jon Corzine

Class 2 Democrat  Robert G. Torricelli
First elected: 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

New Mexico  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedDemocrat  Jeff Bingaman
First elected: 1982; re-elected: 1988, 1994, 2000
Renominated - 6 June 2000 Primary
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 2 Republican  Pete V. Domenici
First elected: 1972; re-elected: 1978, 1984, 1990, 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Nevada  6-year term

Class 1 Democrat  Richard H. Bryan
Elected 1988; re-elected: 1994
Open Seat. Senator Bryan not a candidate.
 WinnerRepublican  John Ensign

Class 3 Democrat  Harry Reid
First elected: 1986; re-elected: 1992, 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

New York  6-year term

Class 1 Democrat  Daniel Patrick Moynihan
First elected: 1976, re-elected: 1982, 1988, 1994
Open Seat. Senator Moynihan not a candidate.
 WinnerDemocrat  Hillary Rodham Clinton
Endorsements: Liberal, Working Families.

Class 3 Democrat  Chuck Schumer
First elected: 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Ohio  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedRepublican  Mike DeWine
First elected: 1994; re-elected 2000
Renominated - 7 March 2000 Primary
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 3 Republican  George V. Voinovich
First elected: 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Oklahoma  6-year term

Class 2 Republican  James M. Inhofe
First elected to fill out the term in a Special Election: 1994 [held to fill the impending vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator David L. Boren (Democrat): effective, 15 November 1994 but announced before the 1994 Oklahoma state/local Primary in August 1994, allowing for this Special Election to take place; elected to a full term: 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Class 3 Republican  Don Nickles
First elected: 1980; re-elected: 1986, 1992, 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Oregon  6-year term

Class 2 Republican  Gordon Smith
First elected: 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Class 3 Democrat  Ron Wyden
First elected to finish out the term in a Special Election: 30 January 1996 [held to fill vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator Robert Packwood (Republican): 1 October 1995 (Oregon state law does not permit the state's Governor to make temporary appointments to fill vacancies in the United States Senate)]; elected to a full term: 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Pennsylvania  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedRepublican  Rick Santorum
First elected: 1994; re-elected 2000
Renominated - Tuesday 4 April 2000 Primary
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 3 Republican  Arlen Specter
First elected: 1980; re-elected: 1986, 1992, 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Rhode Island  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedRepublican  Lincoln D. Chafee
Appointed by Governor Lincoln C. Almond (Republican) on 2 November 1999, to fill vacancy caused by the death of Senator John H. Chafee (Republican): 24 October 1999; elected to first full term 2000
Renominated - 12 September 2000 Primary
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 2 Democrat  John F. Reed
First elected: 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

South Carolina  6-year term

Class 2 Republican  J. Strom Thurmond
First elected as an Independent candidate to this seat: 1954 (the only United States Senator ever elected solely by write-in vote: the write-in campaign was caused by Thurmond's failure to win endorsement by the state Democratic Party [Senator Burnet R. Maybank (Democrat) had died: 1 September 1954 but had been previously renominated for re-election to the seat in the 13 July 1954 primary; Thurmond's campaign was a protest against the Party hierarchy, and not the Party rank-and-file, replacing Maybank as the Democrat nominee]); resigned 4 April 1956 in order to contest for the Democrat nomination for the Senate in a Special Primary that Summer; elected as a Democrat to finish out the term in a Special Election held to fill vacancy caused by his own resignation: 1956; re-elected as a Democrat: 1960; changed Party affiliation to Republican: 16 September 1964; re-elected as a Republican: 1966, 1972, 1978, 1984, 1990, 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Class 3 Democrat  Ernest F. "Fritz" Hollings
First elected to finish out the term in a Special Election: 1966 [held to fill vacancy caused by the death of Senator Olin D. Johnston (Democrat): 18 April 1965- which Donald S. Russell (Democrat) had been appointed by Governor Robert E. McNair (Democrat) to fill, 22 April 1965 (Russell had resigned as Governor on 22 April 1965 allowing Lieutenant Governor McNair to succeed to the office of Governor, after which McNair appointed Russell to the Senate)]; elected to full term: 1968; re-elected: 1974, 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

South Dakota  6-year term

Class 2 Democrat  Tim Johnson
First elected: 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Class 3 Democrat  Tom Daschle
First elected: 1986; re-elected: 1992, 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Tennessee  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedRepublican  Bill Frist
First elected: 1994; re-elected 2000
Renominated - 3 August 2000 Primary
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 2 Republican  Fred Thompson
First elected to finish out the term in a Special Election: 1994 [held to fill vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator Albert A. Gore, Jr. (Democrat): 1 January 1993- which Harlan Mathews (Democrat) had been appointed by Governor Ned R. McWherter (Democrat) to fill, 2 January 1993]; elected to a full term: 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Texas  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedRepublican  Kay Bailey Hutchison
First elected to finish out the term in a Special Election: 1 May 1993- and necessary subsequent Runoff: 5 June 1993 [held to fill vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr. (Democrat): 20 January 1993- which Robert Krueger had been appointed by Governor Ann W. Richards (Democrat) to fill, 21 January 1993]; elected to full term: 1994; re-elected 2000
Renominated - 14 March 2000 Primary
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 2 Republican  Phil Gramm
First elected: 1984; re-elected: 1990, 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Utah  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedRepublican  Orrin G. Hatch
First elected: 1976; re-elected: 1982, 1988, 1994, 2000
Renominated - by Convention
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 3 Republican  Robert F. Bennett
First elected: 1992; re-elected: 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Virginia  6-year term

Class 1 Democrat  Charles S. Robb
First elected: 1988; re-elected: 1994
Renominated - 3 June 2000 Democratic State Convention
 WinnerRepublican  George F. Allen
NOMINATED - 3 June 2000 Republican State Convention

Class 2 Republican  John W. Warner
First elected: 1978; re-elected: 1984, 1990, 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Vermont  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedRepublican  Jim Jeffords
First elected: 1988; re-elected: 1994, 2000
Renominated - 12 September 2000 Primary
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 3 Democrat  Patrick Leahy
First elected: 1974; re-elected: 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Washington  6-year term

Class 1 Republican  Slade Gorton
First elected to the "Class 3" seat from the state: 1980; defeated for re-election, 1986; Elected to this seat: 1988; re-elected: 1994
Renominated - 19 September 2000 - Primary
 WinnerDemocrat  Congressman Maria Cantwell
Elected in 1992 as Congressman in Washington's Congressional District 1. Defeated by Congressman Rick White in 1994.

Class 3 Democrat  Patty Murray
First elected: 1992; re-elected: 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

Wisconsin  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedDemocrat  Herbert H. Kohl
First elected: 1988; re-elected: 1994, 2000
Renominated - 12 September 2000 Primary
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 3 Democrat  Russ Feingold
First elected: 1992; re-elected: 1998
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 2, 2004.

West Virginia  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedDemocrat  Robert C. Byrd
First elected: 1958; re-elected: 1964, 1970, 1976, 1982, 1988, 1994, 2000
Renominated - 9 May 2000 Primary
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 2 Democrat  John D. Rockefeller, 4th
First elected: 1984; re-elected: 1990, 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Wyoming  6-year term

Class 1ReelectedRepublican  Craig Thomas
First elected: 1994; re-elected 2000
Renominated - 22 August 2000 Primary
Reelected - 7 November 2000

Class 2 Republican  Michael B. Enzi
First elected: 1996
Seat up for election: Tuesday, November 5, 2002.

Notes

Senate Class

Class 1 seats end their current terms at noon on 3 January 2001... next regular election for these seats is in 2000.
Class 2 seats end their current terms at noon on 3 January 2003... next regular election for these seats is 2002.
Class 3 seats end their current terms at noon on 3 January 2005... next regular election for these seats is 2004.

For more information review UNITED STATES SENATE: Electoral "Classes"


Article I, Section 3, clause 2 of the Constitution of the United States reads as follows:

"Immediately after [the Senate of the United States] shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year..."

Pursuant to this Constitutional provision, a three-Senator Committee was appointed by the Senate on 11 May 1789 to come up with a plan to carry out the requirements of that provision; this Committee reported to the Senate on 14 May 1789 a plan to divide the then 20 Senators (there were 10 of the 13 original States represented in the Senate at the time- each having 2 Senators: North Carolina and Rhode Island had yet to ratify the U.S. Constitution, while New York had so ratified but had failed to elect Senators as of that date) into the requisite three electoral Classes: under this plan, three groups of Senators (set up in such a way so as no State had its two Senators in the same group) were to be listed and the first Senator on each list (a list which was set up geographically north-to-south in the manner in which the Electoral Vote for President was counted before Congress at that time, so that two of the first Senators on these lists were from New Hampshire and the third was the first Senator in alphabetical order from Massachusetts) was to each blindly draw a piece of paper numbered either "1", "2" or "3" out of a box in the possession of the Secretary of the Senate. This plan being agreeable to the Senate and so approved, the drawing of lots in this manner was carried out the following day (15 May 1789)- such lot drawing ultimately determining that, to start with, Classes 1 and 2 were to have 7 Senators each and Class 3 was to have only 6 Senators.

When New York finally seated its two Senators during the ensuing Summer, there was another lot drawing (actually a double-lot drawing) on 28 July 1789 to determine the Classes for these seats: since one of the seats had to be Class 3 to make it equal in number to that of the other two Classes so far, the two New York Senators each blindly drew between two pieces of paper, one marked "3", the other which was blank- after this, there was a second lot drawing in which the New York Senator who had drawn the blank paper blindly drew again between two pieces of paper marked "1" and "2": he drew "1" so that New York would henceforth have Senators of electoral Classes 1 and 3.

When North Carolina seated its two Senators after ratifying the Constitution on 21 November 1789, there was yet another lot drawing (on 29 January 1790) in which North Carolina's two Senators each blindly drew between pieces of paper marked "2" and "3" (since there were now 12 States and, thus, 24 Senators: 24 being equally divisible by 3, there would now have to be 8 Senators in each of the three Classes to fulfill the Constitutional provision that, as nearly as was practicable, one third of the Senate be elected every second year).

After Rhode Island- the last of the 13 original States- finally ratified the Constitution on 29 May 1790 and subsequently seated its two Senators that Summer, there was yet one more lot drawing in the First Congress (on 25 June 1790) in which Rhode Island's two Senators blindly drew between pieces of paper marked "1", "2" and "3": one Senator drew "2", the other drew "1"- thereby determining electoral Classes 1 and 2 as those for the Senators from this State. When Vermont was admitted to the Union as the 14th state on 4 March 1791, there was again a double lot drawing as there had been for New York. From that day until this, whenever a new State has been admitted to the Union, these types of lot drawings (the type determined by the necessity of keeping the number of Senators in each electoral Class as close to one third as possible at the time of said lot drawing) between the new State's first Senators is held before the Senate to determine in just which of the three electoral Classes that State's Senate seats will be placed from then on.