Residents of Puerto Rico were granted U.S. citizenship in 1917 and have bravely served and died in every American conflict since then as part of our nation's military, while simultaneously banned from voting for their own Commander in Chief. Further, the island's residents are also not allowed to vote absentee for their President while living abroad. ANY American claiming residency on the island of Puerto Rico - Puerto Rican or not - is banned from voting for our nation's President. This petition has nothing to do with the issue of statehood for Puerto Rico. It's mission is solely to secure equal voting rights for all legal American citizens.
There are more than 2 million eligible voters claiming residency on the island of Puerto Rico who are forced to forfeit their right to full participation in our American democracy while living on American soil. During these times when our elected officials, political pundits and the media continue to analyze and seek to secure the Hispanic vote, the time has come for our U.S. Congress to act to secure voter parity for all legal American citizens. The unwillingness of the U.S. Congress and former Presidents to resolve this issue has resulted in legal action being taken at the United Nations. To avoid further international embarrassment, immediate action and debate must be deemed a priority.
Puerto Rican Americans are loyal, patriotic, law-abiding citizens who have earned the right to request that their government address this issue at the same time that the nation debates immigration reform, lest it appear that President Obama and the 113th Congress believe it acceptable to continue mistreating the residents of Puerto Rico; willfully continuing to treat them like second class American citizens. We suggest that this reform be passed through a 28th amendment similar to those that have occurred in America's History: 15th Amendment - granting equal voting rights to African Americans 19th Amendment - granting equal voting rights to women and the 23rd Amendment - granting equal voting rights to the residents of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C.