A “Yes” select support the position that Puerto Rico must seek citizenship.
A “not” select against the position that Puerto Rico must seek citizenship.
If the ballot is approved, the letter governor will appoint a seven-member commission to represent Puerto Rico in matters and negotiations relating to achieving state status. The Commission will develop a transition plan, which the governor will approve or reject, and present the plan to Congress and the President.
Based on Senate Bill 1467, which puts the referendum on the vote, selecting “No” on the referendum will mean that a seven-member commission will be appointed to negotiate with the federal government for the free or independence association of Puerto Rico.
The question is as follows:
|”||Should Puerto Rico immediately be included in the Society as a country?||”|
The full text of the ballot, as published in Spanish, is available here.
- Former Governor Carlos Romero Barceló (NPP) said, “People know that we no longer want a colony, we want equality, especially political equality, because in democracy what is important is the right to vote and the right to participate equally in terms of the governing body nation. “
- Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (NPP) said that all the crises suffered by Puerto Rico during the previous four years, including storms, earthquakes, coronavirus pandemics and fiscal crises, showed the urgency of achieving equality with states. He added, “That is why we cannot wait any longer to receive from Washington the same treatment that is received throughout the country. There is strength in unity, especially in times of collective crisis.”
- House Speaker Carlos ‘Johnny’ Méndez (NPP) said, “The first thing that must be put in order in Puerto Rico is the colonial situation. That is a big problem that the people of Puerto Rico have.” He stated that another problem arose from the island’s colonial status. Méndez added, “We cannot tidy up a house if the people of Puerto Rico continue to be discriminated against in terms of federal assistance.”
- Senator Juan Dalmau (PIP)
- Senator Juan Dalmau (PIP), who supports independence from the United States, said, “Puerto Rico does not want to give up being ourselves. For the plebiscite question, do you want to give up your Puerto Rican citizenship? The answer is ‘No!’ “ He said that PIP would campaign against annexation and colonialism.
- Former Governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá (PDP) called the ballot a “practice of misusing public funds.” He said that there was no one in Washington, D.C. who support these actions.
- Efraín Vázquez-Vera, a professor at the University of Puerto Rico, said, “Corruption and the inability to brand a true pro-state government. people are very angry and don’t want to vote at the November general election. Carrying out plebiscites together with elections is a way to guarantee the participation of Pro-State voters. So, for pro-state parties, it is not important to win or lose plebiscites, they want to win elections and maintain political power. “
Puerto Rico status in the U.S.
Puerto Rico entered the United States in 1898, after the Spanish-American War. The federal government recognized regional government for internal problems in 1950, and the island adopted a constitutional form and a republican form of government in 1952. By 2020, no change in political status had taken place since the 1950s. Under Regional Clause from U.S. Constitution, Congress has jurisdiction over Puerto Rico.
A citizen of Puerto Rico is a citizen of the United States. Puerto Rico does not have representatives with voting rights in United States Congress or the ability to choose President in the general election. However, Puerto Rico chose Resident Commissioner to U.S. Representative Council. The resident commissioner is permitted to introduce the legislature and vote committee.
Puerto Rico voted on voting steps to overcome the state in 1967, 1993, 1998, 2012 and 2017. The results in each referendum election are as follows:
|Puerto Rico political status referendum|
|Year||Commonwealth||Statehood||Free association||Independence||Not one of the above|
On July 23, 1967, Puerto Rico was given three options in the ballot box about the political status of the island. That United States Congress approve the referendum. The choice to remain a Commonwealth of the United States received 60.4 percent of the vote, while the state received 39.0 percent and independence received 0.6 percent.
The second vote on the political status of the region was on November 14, 1993. Former President George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald R. Ford participated in the state campaign. President Bill Clinton remained neutral in the referendum. Some voters, 48.9 percent, prefer to remain as commonwealth. Statehood received 46.6 percent of the vote, while independence received 4.5 percent.
The third vote on Puerto Rico’s relations with the United States took place on December 13, 1998. This time the voters were given five options: territorial commonwealth, promiscuity, statehood, statehood, independence, and none of the above. The option none of the above received the highest proportion of votes at 50.5 percent. Statehood received the next highest proportion of votes at 46.6 percent. Independence received 2.6 percent, and promiscuity received 0.3 percent. Puerto Rico’s status as a commonwealth receives 0.1 percent of the vote. Opponents of the referendum, including the Popular Democratic Party (PDP), advocated for none of the above, saying the language of the vote for the commonwealth option was misleading.
On November 6, 2012, Puerto Rico held its fourth vote on the island’s territorial status. The referendum is organized as two questions. The first question asked is, “Do you agree that Puerto Rico must continue to have its territorial status now?” As many as 54.3 percent refused to continue Puerto Rico’s territorial status. Because the majority reject the first question, the results for the second question are calculated. The second question asks voters about the non-territorial status they like: statehood, promiscuity, or independence. State status received a majority of votes, 61.2 percent, for the first time in the region’s history. The free association option received 33.3 percent, and independence received 5.5 percent. While 1,798,987 people voted on the first question, 1,363,854 people voted on the second question, which means that almost a quarter of the first question voters voted blank on the second question. Jay Carney, former spokesman President Barack Obama and the White House, said, “I think the results are a little less clear than that because of the process itself.”
On June 11, 2017, Puerto Rico voted on a political status referendum, which gives voters three choices: (a) current territorial status; (b) statehood; and (c) free association / independence. Selection Statehood received 97.18 percent of the vote. The Popular Democratic Party, which has the second largest caucus in the territorial Legislature, boycotted the election. The participation rate is 22.93 percent.
Governor Ricardo A. Rosselló, who supports the state option, reacted to the outcome, saying, “Starting today, the federal government will no longer be able to ignore the majority vote of Americans in Puerto Rico.” Governor Rosselló then implemented a plan, created based on the Tennessee Plan, which was intended to encourage Congress to elect the state of Puerto Rico.
Former Governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, a member of the Popular Democratic Party, noted that the turnout was low and said, “The 97 percent victory is the result you get in the one-party regime. Washington will laugh at their faces.”
Puerto Rican political party
In Puerto Rico, three political parties with elected representatives in 2020 each took a different position on the issue of the island’s relations with the United States. Political parties are not affiliated with mainland US parties, such as Democrats and Republicans, although individual members can be affiliated. According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), “[Political] status is the blood of Puerto Rican political life, which includes partisan policies and lines in ways that are not common on the mainland. “CRS notes that political parties generally align themselves with the following positions:
- Popular Democratic Party (PDP) is usually associated with a pro-Commonwealth position.
- New Progressive Party (NPP) is usually associated with pro-state positions.
- Puerto Rico Independence Party (PIP) is usually associated with pro-independence positions.
Between 1997 and 2020, the nuclear power plant had trifecta control over the government of Puerto Rico for 12 years or half of the 24-year period. NPP has trifecta control over the government for eight years or one third of a 24-year period. Puerto Rico has a government that is divided over four years or one-sixth of a 24-year period.
Possible future status
Discussions about Puerto Rico’s future relationship with the federal government generally involve four possibilities, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS). Definitions of the various possible political statuses for Puerto Rico are below:
- Commonwealth (current status): According to CRS, legal experts debate whether the status of Puerto Rico as commonwealth has a certain legal meaning or just style. This status is based on the regional constitution, which was approved by Congress in 1952, and the federal statute. Puerto Rico is a US citizen but cannot elect a federal representative with voting rights. This island does not have the same rights as the state in relation to the federal government. Congress has the highest jurisdiction over Puerto Rico.
- Statehood: Puerto Rico will be the 51st state to join the United States. Statehood will give Puerto Rico the same rights as other states, internal representatives United States Congress, and the ability to choose President. Puerto Ricans will be required to pay federal personal income tax.
- Free association: Puerto Rico will become a sovereign country outside the U.S. Constitutional Territory Clause However, the island will maintain a free and voluntary political association with the United States. Free association agreements will delegate certain powers, usually relating to the military, trade, and currency, to the U.S. federal government U.S. Citizenship will be subject to negotiations in developing the agreement. The Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau, all former jurisdictions of the Pacific Islands Trusteeship Region, are sovereign states in free relations with the US.
- Independence: Puerto Rico will become an independent sovereign state. The country will develop its own government and economy. Puerto Rico who are residents of the island will lose citizenship, at least in the long run.
Road to the vote
Senate Bill 1467
That Puerto Rico Senate chose to pass the bill on March 1, 2020. The Puerto Rico Representative Council made changes to the bill, choosing 33-17 to ratify the amended version on March 9, 2020. At the DPR, the New Progressive Party (NPP) supported the law, and the Popular Democratic Party (PDP), Puerto Rico Independence Party (PIP) , and independent members oppose the law.
Returning to the Senate, the amended bill was approved from 18-8 on March 9. PLTN members support the law, and PDP members oppose the law.
On May 16, 2020, Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced (NPP) signed SB 1467, saying, “Never before in our history have we been given the opportunity to give a strong mandate to the government of Puerto Rico and the United States Congress. A clear message about the fate we as humans. The question is simple, clear and direct and the answer will be simple, clear and certain. “
- Puerto Rico’s Senado, “P. del S. 1467,” accessed May 18, 2020
- Note: This text is published in Spanish and translated by Ballotpedia staff.
- Primera Hora, “Jenniffer González:” Llegó el momento de decirle Sí a Puerto Rico, “May 16 2020
- Primera Hora, “Gobernadora convierte en ley proyecto de plebiscito estadidad Si No,” May 16, 2020
- Primera Hora, “Directorio del PNP defiende el plebiscito de estadidad,” May 17, 2020
- El Nuevo Día, “Wanda Vázquez firma ley celebrities un plebiscito de” estadidad sí o no “el Proximo 3 de noviembre,” May 16 2020
- El Nuevo Dia, “El PPD and el PIP have no coal for the campraña contra la estadidad racers,” 18 May 2020
- NotiCel, “Acevedo Vilá augura otro fracaso plebiscitario para el PNP,” May 16, 2020
- Sputnik News, “51st Country? Puerto Rico State Polling Driven by Political & Financial Ambition, Scholars Say,” May 19, 2020
- Congressional Research Service, “Puerto Rico’s Political Status: Options for Congress,” 7 June 2011
- United States, “Special Decolonization Committee Approves Text Calling to the Government of the United States to Speed Up the Process of Self-Determination for Puerto Rico,” 20 June 2016
- Note: These results come from the second question from the two-question referendum. About a quarter of the voters who vote on the first question cast a blank vote on the second question.
- The Popular Democratic Party boycotted the referendum election, which featured 22.93 percent voter turnout.
- The ballot question treats free association and independence as the same option. If the option wins with a majority of votes, the second question will ask the voter to decide between the two.
- Huffington Post, “Puerto Rico Status Debate Continues as Island Marks 61 Years as Commonwealth,” July 25, 2013
- Consulta de Resultados, “Plebiscito de Status del 23 de julio de 1967,” accessed February 6, 2017
- New York time, “3 Former Presidents Join the Debate in Puerto Rico,” November 13, 1993
- New York time, “Puerto Rico Chooses to Maintain Status as Commonwealth,” 15 November 1993
- Consulta de Resultados, “Plebiscito de Status del 14 de noviembre de 1993,” accessed February 6, 2017
- Consulta de Resultados, “Plebiscito de Status del 13 de diciembre de 1998,” accessed February 6, 2017
- New York time, “Puerto Rico Demonstration to Choose Shifts in Political Status,” December 12, 1998
- Comisión Estatal de Elecciones de Puerto Rico, “Papeleta Modelo,” accessed February 6, 2017
- CNN, “Puerto Rico supports statehood for the first time,” 8 November 2012
- Estatal de Elecciones Commission, “Elecciones Generales 2012 y Consulta sobre el Estatus Político de Puerto Rico,” accessed 6 February 2017
- Washington Post, “The Government of Puerto Rico approved a referendum in the search for state status,” February 3, 2017
- ABC News, “Results of Challenges from Puerto Rico State Experts,” 8 November 2012
- NBC Latino, “White House: Puerto Rico status position ‘unclear’ from plebiscite,” December 3, 2012
- Caribbean business, “PDP Approves Boycott Referendum Status,” April 23, 2017
- Comisión Estatal de Elecciones de Puerto Rico, “Resultados Isla,” accessed June 14, 2017
- New York time, “23% of Puerto Rican voters in the Referendum, 97% of Them for State Status,” June 11, 2017
- Hill, “Puerto Rico swears at congressional delegation,” 15 August 2017
- Congressional Research Service“Political Status of Puerto Rico: A Brief Background and Recent Developments for Congress,” June 12, 2017
- Congressional Research Service, “Puerto Rico’s Political Status: Options for Congress,” 7 June 2011
- Congressional Research Service, “Political Status of Puerto Rico and the Plebiscite 2012: Background and Key Questions,” June 25, 2013
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Palau,” accessed February 7, 2017
- Sistema Único de Trámite Legislativo, “Detalle de Medida PS1467,” accessed May 18, 2020
- Caribbean Business Report“Puerto Rico will vote on a non-binding state status on November 3,” May 17, 2020
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