General Question

JaneraSolomon's avatar

Can New York's Puerto Ricans vote?

Asked by JaneraSolomon (1142 points ) January 27th, 2012

Puerto Ricans have been considered US Citizens since 1917 and can freely travel between Puerto Rico and the USA. But Puerto Rico-based Puero Ricans can not vote in the federal elections, but what if they live in New York? If not, what would they have to do given that they’re already US Citizens?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puerto_Rico

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11 Answers

DrBill's avatar

The commonwealth of Puerto Rico would have to become a state and not just a possession, and it’s citizens pay U.S. income tax like the rest of us.

U.S. citizens living in NY, can vote, no matter what their ancestry.

Pandora's avatar

My mother was born and raise in Puerto Rico. Since 1917 Puerto Ricans have been considered US citizens, however they can not vote. I believe Puerto Ricans who move to the States and have become residents can vote as citizens of the state they are residing in. Then they gain full citizen rights.
Of course, things are always changing but I know my mom has been voting for years in local and presidential.

bkcunningham's avatar

Puerto Ricans living in the states or Stateside Puerto Ricans, can vote in American elections if they are registered and qualify to vote. The number of Stateside Puerto Ricans outnumber the population of Puerto Rico. Amazing. One thing that has been written about and studied is why voter turnout by stateside Puerto Ricans is low in the US when voters in Puerto Rico put Americans to shame when it comes to voter turnout.

JaneraSolomon's avatar

Well @bkcunningham, that’s kind of why I ask. It really wasn’t clear to me what their voting rights are even after looking it up. In one place it says they are considered US Citizens and in another it says they don’t have the right to vote. I wonder if anyone has told US mainland-based Puerto Ricans that they have the right to vote in Federal elections? They might well share that confusion.

Pandora's avatar

@bkcunningham That’s an easy one to answer. We hold elections in November. Its cold as hell and Puerto Ricans hate going out in the cold if they don’t have too. Puerto Rico is warm all year long so you certainly don’t have to worry about throwing on a lot of clothing to go outside. Personally I think they should change elections to September before it gets so cold that people don’t want to go out. Some places you go vote in the north, there are lines after work that go outside the building. After a long days work (yes many work that day) the last thing someone wants to do is be on a long line out in the cold and hungry for dinner.

Pandora's avatar

@JaneraSolomon You have a point but I think its also has to do with the fact that very many Puerto Ricans are distrusting of white politicians. Its only in recent years that there have been more hispanic politicians but most of them gear their platforms to benefit upper white class voters than the people in the hispanic community they serve. So voters don’t see what they would get out of it.

bkcunningham's avatar

The articles I researched trying to give you an answer with a good linked source were VERY confusing. Articles that spelled it out precisely were few and far between, @JaneraSolomon. I think, if you read the articles closely, the wording is Puerto Ricans living in Peurto Rico don’t vote directly for US President.

Did you find the articles about the history of bilingual ballots and criteria for voting in US elections just after Puerto Rico was made a US Territory and residents became US citizens?

samantha360's avatar

If they are legal citizens of New York then yes. Otherwise no.

samantha360's avatar

Sorry double post….

JaneraSolomon's avatar

Um, there’s no such thing as “citizens of New York.” There are residents of New York, and Citizens of the United States. Puerto Ricans living in New York are both residents of New York, and Citizens of the United States.

Pandora's avatar

I asked my mom and she said when she moved to New York she was able to register to vote as a resident in 3 months. (This was over 60 years ago) She doesn’t know how it works however if you also own a home in Puerto Rico and claim it as your primary residence. She said when she filled out paper work for taxes and such, she put New York City as her primary residence.
There may be people who move there and simply don’t know they can claim being a resident if they have property back home and still vote in Puerto Rico. I can see some maybe not wanting to put New York City as their primary residence if they plan to go back to Puerto Rico to retire or are only in the states to work till they can go back.

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