New RNC Chair Owes U.S. Territories for Victory

by , Adam Fogel // Published February 10, 2009
Politico reports that newly elected RNC chair Michael Steele owes his election to 15 delegates representing U.S. Territories, who voted in a bloc for him after their preferred candidate, Ken Blackwell, was eliminated in the instant-runoff style election.

The irony is that these delegates represent constituents that serve in the armed forces, but have no vote for president and no voting member of Congress. Citizens of U.S. Territories serving in the armed forces are allowed to register to vote when they are living on a military base or serving overseas, but when they go home their voting rights are stripped away. Washington, D.C.--not a territory, but still no voting rights in Congress--gained the right to vote for president through the 23rd amendment in 1961.

Steele may have told the RNC members that these island territories deserve more funds and support, but does he think they deserve the right to vote for anything but party chair?