Plaintiffs from Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico are making an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, arguing that where you live shouldn’t impact your right to vote for President. The Segovia v. Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners’ appeal is now receiving extra support after a new crowdfunding platform, CrowdJustice, selected the case as part of its United States launch. CrowdJustice, founded in the United Kingdom in 2015, helps raise funds for individuals, communities and non-profits seeking justice in the legal system. “We are excited to have our case selected by CrowdJustice, which will help bring national attention to the issue of voting rights in U.S. territories while also providing important resources to expand our advocacy,” said Neil Weare, President and Founder of We the People Project, a non-profit that advocates for equal rights and representation in U.S. territories. “The message we have for the rest of the country is that where you live should not impact your right to vote for President or have voting representation in Congress.”
Over 4 million Americans (a population larger than that of 24 individual states) are treated with a second-class status because they live in a U.S. territory.
Last year, a federal district court in Illinois ruled for the first time that if you live in a U.S. territory voting is not a “fundamental right,” upholding federal and state laws that permit former residents of Illinois to continue voting for President by absentee ballot if they move to U.S. territories like the Northern Mariana Islands or American Samoa (or a foreign country), but not if they move to Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or Puerto Rico.