Tuesday, October 28

A word on behalf of the disenfranchised islanders

The Republic of Palau, a few islands over from Guam, will be electing a new president next week. And there has been quite a bit of politicking on Guam -- waving parties along the roadway, campaign signs, newspaper ads. This is because Palau actually sets up a polling station on Guam for their many citizens living in diaspora on Guam. The votes cast on Uncle SameGuam could tip the balance of power in Palau. What happens on Guam counts.

The irony, of course, is that Guamanians living on Guam, which is a US territory, will not have the opportunity to vote for their own president next week. Because of an archaic electoral college system in the US there is no provision for territories. The native citizens living in the territories have no voice in the presidential election -- even though they are subject to the presidential administration.

Palau goes out of the way to make a way for their citizens abroad to participate in the process. But the US doesn't have provision for some of its citizens who are actually living on US soil. There are probably about 300,000 disenfranchised US citizens living in the insular territories of Guam, the CNMI, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Minor Outlying Islands, and the US Virgin Islands.

I just thought it would be worth mentioning this again.

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