Puerto Rico

Articles about voting issues in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico: Could Commonwealth Become A State? Ricardo Rossello Vows To Make History | International Business Times

Puerto Rico’s longtime movement toward statehood saw a significant victory Tuesday night after Puerto Ricans elected Ricardo Rossello of the New Progressive Party in a tightly fought gubernatorial race. Rossello is a vocal supporter of statehood for Puerto Rico and vowed on the campaign trail to turn the debt-ridden Caribbean island into the 51st state. Puerto Ricans are eager for change. More than 200,000 Puerto Ricans have left the island of 3.5 million people in recent years because of an economic crisis that has seen schools shut down and a shortage nurses and doctors. Puerto Rico owes $70 billion in public debt. “I’m honored Puerto Rico gave me an opportunity. … We will establish a quality of life that will allow (Puerto Ricans) to return to the land where they were born,” Rossello, 37, said.  He carried nearly 42 percent of the vote, or 566,000 votes, against his main opponent, David Bernier, who had more than 527,000 votes, or 39 percent. Bernier, of the ruling Popular Democratic Party, sought to follow Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla, who did not seek a second term. Read More

Puerto Rico: Puerto Ricans Flocking to Mainland Could Sway Swing States | Associated Press

Residents of Puerto Rico can’t vote in presidential elections. But with the island’s economy in shambles, many are fleeing to the U.S. mainland, potentially shifting demographic norms in some of the most closely contested states. The impact of Puerto Rican migrants on the election hinges on how successful voting advocates are in getting them to the polls, with many focused more on finding jobs, homes and schools. Together, Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio — three pivotal states in the fall — absorbed more than 22,500 Puerto Rican migrants in 2013 alone. Many more Puerto Ricans already living on the mainland have relocated to these states from traditional hubs such as New York. Read More

Puerto Rico: Vote count stalls in Puerto Rico as officials take day off | Associated Press

It will be a little while longer before final vote totals are known in Puerto Rico’s Democratic presidential primary, because the U.S. territory’s election commission workers took the day off on Monday. Officials will resume manually counting votes on Tuesday and expect to issue a final certification later that day, Roberto Prats, the island’s Democratic Party chairman, told The Associated Press. He said officials worked until nearly dawn counting results of both the presidential primary and a local primary in which voters narrowed their choice for the island’s next governor, legislators and mayors. “We will resume tomorrow morning and try to close the local and presidential primaries at 100 percent,” Prats said, adding that election workers received compensation time on Monday. Griselle Lopez, the elections commission spokeswoman, did not return messages for comment. Read More

Puerto Rico: Thousands of Puerto Rico Inmates Vote in Republican Primary | The New York Times

Thousands of inmates lined up in prisons across Puerto Rico on Friday to cast early ballots in the U.S. territory’s Republican primary, some saying they hoped the elections can help lift the island out of an economic crisis. At least 6,500 of the island’s 11,500 prisoners are registered to vote, and government officials said this year’s turnout was strong. Even prisoners not registered are allowed to participate in the open primaries, which are held two days ahead of the vote for the general population. The island’s Republican primary is Sunday while Democrats vote in June. Some said they were prompted to vote by Puerto Rico’s decade-long economic woes and concerns for relatives who have left for the U.S. mainland, seeking jobs. Read More

Puerto Rico: Statehood backers see opportunity as woes deepen | Associated Press

Revelers arrived in cars sporting the American flag and wore clothes in red, white and blue as they celebrated the anniversary of Puerto Rico’s pro-statehood political party with deafening salsa music and speeches. Like many others worried about the U.S. territory’s future, those rallying Thursday night in the coastal town of Manati believe statehood can help pull it out of a nearly a decade of economic stagnation. “Puerto Rico has to become a state,” insisted 63-year-old celebrant Norma Candelario. With unemployment at 12 percent, and the public debt reaching $72 billion, advocates for making the Caribbean island the 51st state say the economic woes are strengthening their arguments. As a state, Puerto Rico’s municipalities and public utilities would no longer be prohibited from restructuring their debts through bankruptcy. It would also receive more of certain kinds of federal funding that other states get. Read More

Puerto Rico: Exodus from Puerto Rico could upend Florida vote in 2016 presidential race | The Washington Post

Puerto Rico’s economic crisis meant Jeffrey Rondon, 25, struggled to find even part-time work, so he recently joined the growing exodus from his Caribbean island to Florida. Now he holds a full-time restaurant job and something that could upend the 2016 presidential election — the right to vote in Florida, the biggest of all swing states. “It’s important to vote and be heard — it’s a privilege,” said Rondon, who is one of thousands of Puerto Ricans who have moved to Florida in the past year. As U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans are relatively easy to register to vote, and they are attracting unprecedented attention because they could change the political calculus in a state that President Obama won by the thinnest of margins in 2012: 50 percent to 49.1 percent. Read More

Puerto Rico: Congress tackles issue of Puerto Rico’s status | The CT Mirror

For the first time since the Republican Party took control of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010, Congress will hold a hearing on Puerto Rico’s status. Wednesday’s hearing, featuring witnesses representing all of Puerto Rico’s political parties, has been scheduled by Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, the head of a House Natural Resources subcommittee. It has with authority over the five U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico. In addition to considering the island’s identity as a geo-political unit, the hearing will also focus on Puerto Rico’s severe economic problems. Young has long favored granting statehood to Puerto Rico and cosponsored legislation proposed by Resident Commisioner Pedro Pierluisi that would require a vote on the island within one year on the statehood question. Read More

Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico seizes on 2016 election to push its case with candidates | The Guardian

For a small Caribbean island barely half the size of Connecticut, Puerto Rico seems to be assuming outsized importance in the race for the White House. A flying visit this week from the former Florida governor Jeb Bush – who appears ever closer to announcing his intention to seek the Republican presidential nomination – placed the US territory and its electorate of 2.4 million at the heart of his push to win back Hispanic voters. Bush, who speaks Spanish fluently and who has a Mexican wife, told supporters at public appearances in San Juan and Bayamón about the party’s need to reconnect with the Latino vote. Read More

Puerto Rico: Voting Rights For Noncitizens Debated | International Business Times

Puerto Rico is undergoing a widespread debate regarding the governor’s plans to support a bill extending voting rights to all island residents, regardless of immigration status. Puerto Rico’s largely Dominican immigrant community has celebrated the proposal, but opponents say the move will undermine the privileges granted by citizenship. Gov. Alejandro García Padilla declared last month he would submit legislation allowing all noncitizen residents to vote in islandwide elections, a move with significant implications for the hundreds of thousands of Dominican immigrants estimated to be living on the island. Read More

Puerto Rico: Governer Proposes Voting Rights for All, Regardless of Immigration Status | Good Magazine

Puerto Rico governer Alejandro Garcia Padilla has announced plans for legislation that would grant the right to vote to all of its estimated 200,000-400,000 undocumented immigrants. The statements came at a recent public meeting with the president of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, during which the two politicians signed various agreements to tackle economics, education, security, and environmental issues together. “Today, we would like to break down the barriers that prevent immigrants from contributing all that they truly can to economic recovery and social progress in Puerto Rico,” said Padilla earlier this month. Read More