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The American flag and V.I. flag are presented by the Ivanna Eudora Kean JROTC during the 2017 Memorial Day March on St. Thomas. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico have no right to vote absentee in their former state of residence, though residents of the Northern Mariana Islands and some in American Samoa are granted that privilege.

CHICAGO — Residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico have no right to vote absentee in their former state of residence, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, even though residents of the Northern Mariana Islands and some in American Samoa are granted that privilege.

“Absent a constitutional amendment, only residents of the 50 states have the right to vote in federal elections,” U.S. Circuit Judge Daniel Manion wrote for a three-judge panel. “The plaintiffs have no special right simply because they used to live in a state.”