A legal battle once again highlighted the struggle of Guam residents to have equal voting rights. A federal court recently ruled that Congress can deny the right to vote for president for state residents who move to certain U.S. territories. The lead plaintiff is U.S. citizen Luis Segovia, a former Illinois resident who lives in Guam. As things stand now, the veteran can’t vote for president in November. Neil Weare, co-counsel of the plaintiffs, said in an email to the Pacific Daily News that despite this legal setback, the stories of Segovia and the other plaintiffs will continue to help push a national conversation about voting rights in territories.
We encourage this conversation as well as exploring other options, such as a constitutional amendment, to give Guam residents equal voting rights.
Weare, president and founder of the We the People Project, has advocated for a new voting rights amendment. A proposed amendment calls for territories to have voting representation in Congress and the right to vote for president.
“The Constitution has been amended many times already to expand the right to vote to previously disenfranchised groups, including residents of the District of Columbia,” said Weare, a former Guam resident.