Why does Vote.org exclude the US territories in its efforts?
The right to vote is a constitutional right of American citizens. The ability to elect officials that align with your values has a direct effect on your life. However, 3.5 million Americans were denied this fundamental right in the 2020 presidential election: the citizens of the United States territories.
Even though the actions and legislation passed by the elected officials has an immediate effect on the lives of the citizens in the territories, their voice goes unrecognized.
Though US citizens residing in territories cannot vote in presidential elections, they have restricted voting privileges. They are allowed to vote in the national party nominations for President and Vice President, as well as for nonvoting delegates of the US House.
Vote.org is a “nonpartisan non-profit organization (the largest of its kind) that provides online voter guides for every state, including voter registration forms, absentee ballot applications, and information on deadlines, directions, and ID and residency requirements”. However, with detailed information for each state, it lacks the necessary instructions for the eligible voters in the US territories.
According to Vote.org, one of their goals is to reach “historically underserved voters of color and underrepresented young voters”. Despite their mission, they lack to acknowledge the 98 percent of the US territories’ population who are either an ethnic or racial minority.
Vote.org did not reply to our repeated inquiries on this matter.
With an aim to “strength American democracy,” it is vital that Vote.org does not continue to leave out a demographic that is essential to this political system. The fact that Vote.org does not include a large group of underrepresented voters, despite its mission, will continue the misconstrued narrative about the US territories. Not providing the citizens of these regions the same resources as other groups may inhibit their role in their own futures.