A picture of Representative Stacey E. Plaskett
Stacey P.
Democrat VI 0

About Rep. Stacey
  • Territorial Voting Rights

    by Representative Stacey E. Plaskett

    Posted on 2015-02-05

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    PLASKETT asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend her remarks.) Ms. PLASKETT. Mr. Speaker, this month, as we pay homage to the many achievements and contributions to our great Nation by African American men and women, and earlier this week my colleagues spoke on this floor commemorating the 50th anniversary of the march on Selma and the subsequent passage of the Voting Rights Act, I want to call to the attention of my colleagues here in Congress that there are still American citizens today that do not have equal voting rights--some 4 million citizens, to be exact. These are citizens and residents of America's island territories: the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Northern Mariana Islands.

    These overseas U.S. territories have been part of the United States for over 115 years. That is more than half as long as there has been a U.S. Constitution.

    Our service has gone above and beyond, giving this great Nation even its very banking system, through fellow Virgin Islander Alexander Hamilton. Our service has gone even to having the highest rate of military service in the United States, with some 7 percent higher than other areas, the national average, in casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    I implore this Congress and urge them to pass the Voting Rights Act, and also to extend those rights to its U.S. citizens abroad.


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