A national civil rights group is preparing a lawsuit against the federal government in an effort to grant the millions of citizens living in U.S. territories the right to vote in presidential elections. We the People Project, a nonprofit organization advocating for equal voting and citizenship rights for U.S. territories, is developing its case and could file the lawsuit within the next few months. “At this point we have a legal team together; we’re looking to identify people interested in identifying with the case,” said WPP President Neil Weare, a civil rights attorney. “Once we’re able to identify the plaintiffs we’ll proceed to file the case over the next few months.”
The group has encouraged citizens from Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa and other territories to visit its website and take an online survey to get support and voices behind its cause.
“We have a lot of interest, but we’re looking to tell the most compelling story we can,” he added. “We’re looking for the right folks, and that’s just a process that’s continuing.”
The survey has been up for about six months and completed by about 3,000 people with 500 of them from Guam. Weare said the group wants to draw the public’s attention to the disenfranchisement of residents in territories, who may be considered second-class citizens.