November 8th is Election Day across the United States, including in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.
Which election issues will affect Puerto Rico?
The President of the United States
Chances are, the next President of the United States will be either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Both these candidates have expressed support for the will of the people of Puerto Rico on the status question.
Donald Trump said, “The will of the Puerto Rican people in any status referendum should be considered as Congress follows through on any desired change in status for Puerto Rico, including statehood.”
Hillary Clinton said, “During my presidency, I will work as hard as I can with the people of Puerto Rico and with advocates from all sides to answer the fundamental question of their political status. It is up to the people of Puerto Rico to decide, and I commit to supporting their decision.”
Many presidents in the past have supported statehood for Puerto Rico. It’s worth noting that the president doesn’t get to make the decision; several presidents in the past have asked Congress to take action on statehood for Puerto Rico, but it is up to Congress to do so. Still, having the president on the side of statehood will probably make the transition easier.
Congress has plenary power over all U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico. This is where the power really lies, because only Congress can make a territory into a state.
If you vote in a state, ask the people running for Congress in your state whether they are for statehood for Puerto Rico or not.
Find the Twitter handle of the candidate. If they’re running for reelection, you can find them in the list of congressional Twitter handles. New candidates can be found by searching at Twitter.com.
Write your tweet. You might say@RepCorrineBrown, do you support statehood for Puerto Rico? Click To Tweet
Consider the answer you get when you decide who to vote for.
If you vote in Puerto Rico, you will have a choice among five candidates. It’s easier to tell these candidates’ positions on statehood for Puerto Rico.
- David Bernier supports free association.
- Ricky Rosselló supports statehood.
- María Santiago supports independence.
- Alexandra Lúgaro has not spoken for any status.
- Manuel Cidre won’t say what status he favors, but has said that he doesn’t support statehood.
The Governor of Puerto Rico doesn’t have control over the territory’s status. But it possible for a governor to delay and derail action on the status question throughout his or her tenure. Choosing a candidate who supports statehood, now that there is so much more awareness of the question in Congress, will be very likely to result in statehood.