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Should Puerto Rico become a US state or independent?
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Puerto Ricans should have the ability to vote in Congress—and for President

Puerto Ricans are US citizens and have their own government, yet are unable to vote in Presidential elections and do not have a voting member of Congress. This leaves roughly 3.2 million people out of the voting process that America fought so hard to erect.

The Argument

Puerto Ricans cannot vote for US President, despite being US citzens and having their own local government.[1] This exception for Puerto Rico alienates nearly 3.2 million people from the voting process.[2] Further, Puerto Ricans are not represented in Congress. Puerto Rico is a colony in all but name, and it's time to make sure they're fully represented in the voting process. Puerto Rico does send delegates to presidential nominating conventions; however, they cannot vote in the US general election.[1] While they are subject to federal laws, they lack voting representation in Congress. The island does have a congressional delegate, but they cannot cast a meaningful vote. Jenniffer González-Colón, the representative for Puerto Rico in the US House of Representatives, can serve on committees and vote on legislation, with one caveat: if she casts the deciding vote on legislation, the House votes again—without her.[3] With huge pushes in the US to get out to vote and get more Americans registered to vote, it's unacceptable that a population twice the size of Manhattan can't participate in the electoral process. Puerto Rico needs to become a state to vote in our elections in a meaningful way.

Counter arguments

Awarding Puerto Ricans the right to vote in a Presidential election presents an issue for the electoral process. Republicans posit that one of the reasons Democrats want to make Puerto Rico a state is to involve nearly 3.4 million voters in the electoral process, many of whom would likely vote Democrat. Giving Puerto Rico statehood to vote in federal elections—which would also grant the newly found state two senators and more Congressional representatives—might lead to tipping in our democracy.[4]



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Thursday, 29 Oct 2020 at 18:08 UTC

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