Monday, July 27, 2015

Demands For Voting Rights Reach The U.S. Territories!

The city of Hagatna. The city is the capital of the U.S. territory of Guam. The residents are U.S. citizens but are banned from voting in presidential elections. HBO's John Oliver pointed out that Guam has a high turnout of voters in their choosing of the nominee for the president. Unfortunately, they can't vote for the nominee. Five territories in the United States have longed for the right to be recognized but Congress is once again inept in doing so.

Republican governors and lawmakers are trying to pass stricter voting laws to keep Blacks and the poor away from the ballot box. Young voters aren't inspired to vote in elections. The candidates running aren't inspiring.

Donald Trump sucks most of the air out of the room. Republicans are feuding with one another.

Conservatives and concern trolls are trying to stop Hillary Clinton's momentum.

Bernie Sanders is getting name recognition and criticism.

The Congress is still unproductive. They can't even pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill. On July 31, the money dries up. Construction workers will lose their jobs and roads will not be completed. Gridlock will continue. Americans will be totally pissed off.

The 2016 U.S. Elections are coming. Many Americans will have a chance to vote. They will pick a successor to President Barack Obama. They will have an opportunity to pick a governor, their representatives and senators.

In the U.S. territories, the residents only elect a governor and a non-voting delegate for the U.S. House of Representatives. They vote in their local elections but no presidential elections.

It's a shame that even in the United States, we still have a long way to go before everyone is counted as equal.

There are five island territories under jurisdiction of the United States. They regard these as territories of the United States.

United States territories are any extent of region under the sovereign jurisdiction of the federal government of the United States.

American Samoa (pop. 55,000 capital Pago Pago)
Guam (pop. 138,000 capital Hagatna)
Northern Mariana Islands (pop. 54,000 capital Saipan Island)
Puerto Rico (pop. 4.5 million capital San Juan)
Virgin Islands of the United States (104,000 capital Charlotte Amalie)

About few months back John Oliver of Last Week Tonight on HBO explained why the need for voting rights doesn't often apply to African-Americans, the poor and 18-24 year old groups.
The flags of U.S. Territories. 1. Puerto Rico 2. Northern Mariana Islands 3. Guam 4. American Samoa 5. Virgin Islands
In these U.S. territories they are banned from voting in presidential elections.

Matter of fact, those born in American Samoa aren't American citizens. They are U.S. nationals. They must apply for a passport with a special documentation saying they are nationals. American Samoa has 55,000 residents living there.

American Samoa is located in the South Pacific Ocean. The territory has one of the largest recruitment of military enlistment. Those who fought for America have no legal right to call themselves U.S. Citizens. Some residents have considered petitioning for independence.
Congresswoman Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-AS) is a non-voting delegate for the House of Representatives. She is the first woman to serve for the U.S. territory of American Samoa. She is the first Republican to be elected. She and many of her constituents are considered U.S. nationals. They are not granted U.S. citizenship.
Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands are commonwealths. They are insular areas where the government advocates free association status. Given that these territories and residents are granted as U.S. Citizens, these territories are semi-independent and often times represented as a country and not a territory.

Puerto Rico, a semi-autonomous territory (regarded as a commonwealth) has a fiscal crisis and the U.S. Congress refuses to give aid to the island. Puerto Rico has over 4.5 million residents living there.

The United States offers assistance to the territories whenever its necessary. But expect it to be another partisan battle between the inept lawmakers who believe the key to balancing a budget is to cut the safety net.

The territories have a non-voting delegate who is assigned on a committee but are barred from general voting. These Representatives are not pleased that Congress failed them as well.

Any thoughts on this?

Do you believe that the Voting Rights Act should apply to the U.S. Territories?

Do you believe that its time for the United States to grant citizenship to the residents of American Samoa?

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