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Puerto Rico to Become Early Primary State

Puerto Rico to Become Early Primary State

Puerto Rico would hold the Democratic primary in March

San Juan – Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló presented a bill to the State Legislature to amend Article 4 of Act No. 6, also known as Compulsory Presidential Primaries Act, which would move-up the date of the Democratic presidential primary from the first Sunday in June to the last Sunday in March.

The Republican primaries would continue to be held on the last Sunday in February.

Puerto Rico residents are not allowed to partake in presidential elections but as a result of the 1979 Guaranteed Presidential Vote for all American Citizens Residents of Puerto Rico Act, U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico can vote in presidential primaries for both the Democratic and Republican parties.

The House bill currently under consideration states that: “The proposed amendment sets Puerto Rico in a better position to confront and directly engage Democratic presidential candidates with significant issues such as the "political and economic inequality" that Puerto Rico faces. If implemented, we ensure local issues are addressed in the American political debate and in the agendas and platforms of the candidates.”

“There are over three million disenfranchised American citizens currently residing in Puerto Rico. This is the result of a decades old unfair and undemocratic relationship with the United States. Puerto Ricans have twice voted to become a U.S. state, yet Congress has delayed any action on the matter”, expressed Governor Rosselló.

“This bill intends to bring national attention to Puerto Rico, especially in the upcoming Democratic primaries. Currently, the primary is to be held in June, which reduces the impact we may have. By making Puerto Rico an early voting state, candidates will be forced to pay attention to our needs”, concluded Rosselló.

The bill is expected to be approved by the State Legislature in the coming weeks.