Clinton Pledges Voting Rights to Puerto Rico, Too

By MichaelJames

May 25, 2008 9:32am

You may recall how Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, stumping for votes in Guam, promised residents of that territory full voting rights. Pressed for details, the Clinton campaign acknowledged this would require amending the Constitution.

Saturday in Puerto Rico, Clinton told citizens there, "I believe you should have a vote in picking the president, too," per ABC News’ Eloise Harper.

Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, but they do not pay federal income taxes and they do not vote in the presidential election. Their representative to Congress is a Delegate who votes in committee but not on the floor of the House. Giving voting rights to Puerto Ricans to vote in presidential elections would likewise require a Constitutional amendment.

Writing at the History News Network, historian Robert KC Johnson writes: "Perhaps the Constitution should be amended to allow Puerto Ricans and Guamanians to vote in presidential elections. But Clinton has been in the Senate for eight years, and she doesn’t seem to have raised the issue. There’s something off-putting about a U.S. senator first proposing constitutional amendments a few days before the targets of these amendments go to the polls…

"It appears as if the Clinton campaign is going to come up short, but perhaps Sen. Clinton can work on these amendments in the next session of Congress. Somehow, however, I doubt that she’ll be as interested in making sure that Guamanians can vote for the presidency if she’s not on the presidential ballot."

At a campaign stop in Beaverton, Oregon, earlier this month, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., claimed he had visited 57 states. (Watch HERE.) The misstatement prompted a 57-state flag lapel pin and a suggestion on the conservative Powerline blog as to where the extra states might come from (Canada, Cuba and Jamaica.)

But I’m wondering if a President Hillary Clinton would actually lead to 57 states. … Guam, Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa — that’s 55. …

- jpt

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus