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Puerto Ricans Seek Voting Rights in General Election

HeadlineOct 05, 2000

It’s an issue that has been debated for years. Though Puerto Ricans can vote in the presidential primaries, they cannot vote in the general election. Today a federal appeals court is being asked to change that, a request that, if granted, would let 2.4 million voters in Puerto Rico help choose between Al Gore and George W. Bush. The plaintiffs argue they are being denied a right available to other citizens. But the Justice Department maintains the U.S. Constitution allows electors for the Electoral College to be picked only by those who live in states, not by those in U.S. territories. Congress made Puerto Ricans U.S. citizens in 1917. The territory has 3.5 million residents.

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