From the Western Pacific to St. Paul

-by Beth Walton via phone

With her professional blue suit, patriotic pin, and perfect posture, you'd think Maria Connelley would be the ideal Republican woman to vote for John McCain. Too bad she's not allowed to vote in the presidential election. Connelley is a delegate from Guam, a US territory in the Western Pacific; the flower behind her ear reveals her island lifestyle.

A cabinet member in the Guam government, Connelley says the inability to vote doesn't keep residents of the island from being politically involved. They pay taxes, they sent delegates to the DNC last week, they have some congressional representation, and they especially care about national defense. "That's why we like John McCain," Connelley says. Guam is close to China and Korea, and "McCain is the best person to handle the situations there."

She continued, "We're proud to be Americans even though we're way out here in the Pacific. Maybe someday with the change McCain promotes, the territories will be able to vote in the presidential election too."

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