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To: 5th Period AP Lang Students
It's Time to Enfranchise U.S. Territorial Residents
Many Americans often fail to recognize one of the most prominent examples of voter deprivation that continues to undermine the very ideals that our nation rests upon. Currently, millions of American citizens residing in the five U.S. overseas territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam) are denied voter participation in federal elections. The U.S. government actively silences the voice of territorial residents and consistently ignores their desperate cries for full equality. The United States Constitution must adopt an amendment granting citizens of American territories the right to express their political beliefs via access to the ballot.
Why is this important?
America’s history is one drenched in immense hypocrisy that persists today and is exemplified by the inability of these territorial residents to cast a ballot. How can the United States continue to champion its superior democratic principles when approximately four million of its citizens don’t even exercise the right to vote for who governs them? Furthermore, these territories provide enormous sums of taxes, strong military bases, and high rates of loyal American soldiers. It is crucial that they are given the right to vote in order to eliminate the current limitations of true democracy and allow them full protection under the constitution.