25 Feb 2010

American Samoa bill offers partial voting rights to foreigners

6:33 pm on 25 February 2010

An American Samoan representative has sponsored a amendment to the constitution to allow foreigners who have been granted permanent resident status to vote in local elections.

Galumalemana Bill Satele says he believes when a person has lived in a country for a long time, that individual, who is also a tax payer, should be accorded civic rights.

According to the bill's preamble, permanent residents have expressed an intention to make American Samoa their home and many of them have raised families there, developed businesses and otherwise substantially invested in the community.

The bill requires a three-fifths approval by both the House and Senate before it can be put to a referendum.