Luis Segovia has served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces for more than a decade. Yet simply because he lives in Guam, Luis is not allowed to vote for President. If he instead lived in a foreign country or certain other U.S. territories, he would be able to. This isn't just wrong, it's unconstitutional.
Luis is one of 4 million U.S. citizens - a population greater than nearly half the states - denied the right to vote for President simply because of where they live.
In 2013, Luis was deployed to Afghanistan for the second time, a world away from his family in Guam. Just a few years earlier, he had moved to Guam from Chicago, married the woman of his dreams, and started a family. One thing he hadn’t expected was that a change in zip code would mean he would no longer would be able to vote for President. When Luis was deployed for 18 months to provide security for the 2005 Iraqi election, he could never have imagined being denied his own rights to basic democratic participation. While he's equal on the battle field, he's not equal at the ballot box, a spectator rather than a participant in the democracy he's proudly fought to defend.
In 2015, Luis and five others living in Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with the League of Women Voters of the Virgin Islands and the Iraq Afghanistan and Persian Gulf Veterans of the Pacific, filed Segovia v. Board of Election Commissioners in federal district court, arguing that the right to vote shouldn't depend on where you live.
Luis and his fellow plaintiffs are now appealing to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals a District Court decision, which relied on the controversial Insular Cases to reach the unprecedented conclusion that the right to vote is not a "fundamental right" in U.S. territories. If our appeal is successful, the case will help expand voting rights in U.S. territories and highlight the importance of voting rights for all Americans, wherever they live.
Your support will help We the People Project ensure Luis and his fellow plaintiffs are able to continue forward with the appeals process, and may even help the case reach the Supreme Court.
We ask that you support our efforts in this critical case by contributing what you can and sharing our story with others. Learn more about our efforts by watching John Oliver's powerful segment on voting rights in U.S. territories:
We the People Project is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, so all contributions are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Learn more about our advocacy at www.EqualRightsNow.org.
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