Federal Election Laws Should Apply to All Federal Electionsby Representative Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan
Posted on 2013-03-06
of the northern mariana islands
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, today I am introducing legislation that
provides the full protection of federal election law to the
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of
Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the United States Virgin
Islands. The people of these areas deserve to have their elections
protected by the same laws that safeguard elections and voters
everywhere else in our Nation.
Because of various anomalies federal election laws do not always apply in the territories as in the states. There are gaps in application from one territory to the next. My legislation simply closes those gaps, so that the laws that govern federal elections apply in the same way throughout our country.
The result will be that voters in the territories will be protected from intimidation, threats, and coercion, when they cast their ballots in federal elections--just as voters are protected in the rest of America.
The result will be that the manipulation of elections for federal office by public officials will be illegal--just as in the rest of America.
By extending federal election law, as it does, my bill makes clear that aliens are prohibited from voting and extends the penalties of fine and imprisonment that apply in the rest of our country.
[[Page E248]] By extending federal election law, as it does, my bill makes sure that persons employed in federal or territorial government offices are barred from using their official authority to interfere with the nomination or election process for any federal office and penalizes those who do.
By extending federal election law, as it does, my bill gives voters assurance that their votes will not be diluted with votes cast by persons using false information to register or identify themselves at the polling place, just as federal law assures voters in the rest of America.
My bill simply adds the Northern Mariana Islands and other U.S. territories to those parts of the law where we are not included, in the Voting Rights Act of 1965, for example, and in the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.
Each and every Member of Congress from each and every State abides by and is protected by these same laws. I believe that Members of Congress from the non-State areas and their constituents must abide by the same standards and deserve these same safeguards in their elections for federal office.
I urge my colleagues to support this measure.