Tom Murse is a former political reporter and current controlling Editor that daily document "LNP," and weekly political file "The Caucus," both published by LNP Media in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

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Voters in Puerto Rico and also other U.S. Territories room not permitted to poll in the presidential choice under the provisions collection forth in the Electoral College. But they do have actually a to speak in who gets to the White House. That's due to the fact that voters in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa are allowed to participate in the presidential primary and are granted delegates through the two significant political parties.

In various other words, Puerto Rico and the various other U.S. Territories get to help nominate the presidential candidates. But voters there cannot actually take part in the election itself due to the fact that of the Electoral college system.

deserve to Puerto Ricans Vote?

Why can"t voters in Puerto Rico and also the other U.S. Territories assist elect the chairman of the unified States? short article II, ar 1 of the U.S. Constitution makes it clear that only states have the right to participate in the electoral process. The U.S. Structure reads:

"Each State shall appoint, in together Manner together the legislative branch thereof might direct, a number of Electors, same to the whole variety of Senators and also Representatives to which the State may be licensed has been granted in the Congress."
"The Electoral College mechanism does not administer for inhabitants of U.S. Areas (Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and the U.S. Minor far Islands) to poll for President."

The only way citizens that the U.S. Territories have the right to participate in the presidential poll is if they have actually official residency in the unified States and also vote by absentee ballot or travel to your state come vote.

This disenfranchisement or refusal of the ideal to poll in national elections—including presidential elections—also applies to U.S. Citizens residing in Puerto Rico or any kind of of the other U.S. Unincorporated territories. Back the committees of both the Republican and also Democratic next in Puerto Rico select voting delegates to the parties’ national presidential nominating conventions and also state presidential primaries or caucuses, U.S. Citizens living in Puerto Rico or the various other territories cannot poll in federal elections uneven they additionally maintain a legitimate voting residence in among the 50 claims or the ar of Columbia.

Puerto Rico and the main

Even though voter in Puerto Rico and also other U.S. Regions can't vote in the November election, the Democratic and also Republican Parties permit them to pick delegates to represent them at the nominating conventions.

The national democratic Party"s charter, spreading in 1974 and amended in 2018, claims that Puerto Rico "shall be treated together a state comprise the appropriate number of Congressional Districts." The Republican Party also permits voters in Puerto Rico and other U.S. Regions to participate in the nomination process.

In the 2020 democratic presidential primary, Puerto Rico had 51 delegates based upon its population of 3.194 million people.  Twenty-two states had actually fewer delegates: Iowa, new Hampshire, Nevada, Arkansas, Maine, Oklahoma, Utah, Vermont, Idaho, Mississippi, phibìc Datoka, Alaska, Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska, Hawaii, Montana, brand-new Mexico, Rhode Island, southern Dakota, West Virginia, and also Delaware.

Seven autonomous delegates saw Guam and also the Virgin Islands and six to American Samoa. In the 2020 Republican presidential primary, Puerto Rico had 23 delegates. Guam, American Samoa, and the Virgin islands each had actually nine.

What space the us Territories?

A are is one area ofland the is administered through the United states government but not officially asserted by any of the 50 states or any type of other people nation. Most depend ~ above the United says for defense and economic support. Puerto Rico, because that example, is a commonwealth—a self-governed, unincorporated are of the joined States. Its occupants are subject to U.S. Laws and pay earnings taxes come the U.S. Government.

The unified States right now has 16 territories, of i beg your pardon only five are permanently inhabited: Puerto Rico, Guam, northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. Classified together unincorporated territories, they are organized, self-governing areas with governors and territorial legislatures elected by the people. Each of the five permanently occupied territories may likewise elect a non-voting delegate or resident commissioner come the U.S. Residence of Representatives.

The ar resident commissioners or delegates function in the same means as members of congress from the 50 states, except that they space not allowed to poll on the final disposition of legislation on the home floor. However, they are permitted to serve on congressional committees and receive the same annual salary as various other rank-and-file members of Congress.

Statehood because that Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico statehood has actually been a subject of debate among the island territory’s occupants for decades. Come date, Puerto Rico has held six non-binding referendums addressing statehood, yet no main decision has actually been made.

The divided opinion on statehood was evident in the many recent vote, carried out on Nov. 3, 2020, when 52% that Puerto Rico’s residents voted because that statehood, when 47% of citizens voted against it.

Introduced by Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-New York) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), the Puerto Rico Self-Determination act would speak to for regional legislatures chosen by the Puerto Rican world to organize statehood condition convention. Delegates come the convention would be responsible because that finding a irreversible solution for the island’s territorial status.

Taking the an ext direct route, the Puerto Rico Statehood admission Act, introduced by the island’s resident commissioner, Jenniffer Gonzalez (R-Puerto Rico) and also congressman, Daren Soto (D-Florida) would simply incorporate Puerto Rico right into the Union together the 51st state.

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Murse, Tom. "Why Puerto Rico matters in the united state Presidential Election.", May. 5, 2021,, Tom. (2021, may 5). Why Puerto Rico problem in the us Presidential Election. Retrieved indigenous, Tom. "Why Puerto Rico matters in the united state Presidential Election." Https:// (accessed December 7, 2021).