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Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo

Representing the People of Guam

Bordallo Introduces Constitutional Amendment for Presidential Voting Rights for U.S. Territories

July 26, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-Guam) introduced H.J.Res. 137, an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would allow American citizens residing in the territories of the United States to vote for President and Vice President. There are nearly four million citizens residing in the territories who are not represented in Presidential elections and Congresswoman Bordallo’s Joint Resolution would resolve the current Constitutional inequities that exclude the five territories from the Electoral College.

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Building on precedent set by the 23rd Amendment (Electoral Votes to the District of Columbia) the Bordallo Amendment would enable U.S territories with a population of more thirty thousand to cast electoral votes for President and Vice President of the United States. Unlike the 23rd Amendment however, each territory would be granted elector votes solely based on population and not capped by the number of Electors of the least populous state.

Congresswoman Bordallo’s Amendment will not affect the right of the people of Guam or other territories determine their political status or exercise their right to self-determination. However, as current Americans, the people of the territories should be allowed to vote for the President and Vice President. Her Amendment would ensure that all Americans are included in the national electoral process and extend the Constitutional right to vote for President and Vice President to every American.

“I am proud to introduce this Constitutional Amendment so that every American is finally able to cast a vote for President and Vice President of the United States, just as the Founding Fathers intended. Casting a ballot for President is an inalienable right for all Americans and the Amendment I introduced today is yet another step towards upholding our Constitution’s solemn promise to form a more perfect union,” said Congresswoman Bordallo.

“This Amendment is a common sense solution to a fundamental error in the Constitution and solves voting inequities while accounting for the differences in each of the five territories. The people of the territories are proud Americans who support the Constitution and many have given their lives in its defense. It is high time the people of Guam and those in the other territories are given a voice in election of President and Vice President,” continued Congresswoman Bordallo.

Congresswoman Bordallo’s Amendment, if adopted by the House of Representatives and Senate by two-thirds vote in each chamber, would require 38 States to formally ratify and adopt the Amendment. Upon adoption, Congress would determine apportionment of the Electoral Votes to the territories with Puerto Rico estimated to carry four Electoral Votes and one each to the four remaining territories with smaller populations. The apportionment of Electoral Votes is typically conducted every 10 years during the decennial census.