Robert Cepeda is from Guam, and this is the first time in his 38 years that he could vote for president of the United States. It’s not because he lacks qualifications or interest: he pays taxes, registers and votes every election. It’s because of his residency. In Guam, residents are allowed to vote in presidential primaries, but not in the general election. Two years ago Cepeda moved to Hawaii and changed his residency. So the general election 2008 was his first opportunity to select the US president.
It was a chance he wasn’t going to miss. Participating in the electoral process was so important to Cepeda that he changed his travel plans in order to vote early, because he did not receive his absentee ballot in time. He took advantage of walk-in voting to vote the morning before he boarded an airplane for a business trip.
After voting for the first time for president, Cepeda called his family back in Guam, and over their cheers, informed them that he has cast his ballot for president to their collective candidate of choice, who happened to be President-Elect Obama.