Puerto Ricans May Have the Chance to Cast a Symbolic Vote for US President in 2024

Puerto Rico - Biden - Trump

Image via AP Photo.

By Mivette Vega

July 10, 2023

The island has sent delegates to presidential conventions in the US since the beginning of the 20th century and has participated in presidential primaries since 1976, but does not vote for president.

On the 2024 election ballot, Puerto Ricans will be able to vote for the president of the US … symbolically, if the local government decides so.

This electoral exercise has been legal since 2018 when former Gov. Ricardo Rosselló signed the “Law to Guarantee the Presidential Vote to All American Citizens Resident in Puerto Rico,” intending that the island would one day become the 51st state of the United States.

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Historically, Puerto Rico has sent delegates to presidential conventions in the US since the beginning of the 20th century and has participated in presidential primaries since 1976. However, Puerto Rico does not vote for president.

In the 2020 elections, members of the New Progressive Party (PNP by its Spanish initials) preferred to postpone the exercise because Donald Trump was a presidential candidate.

The island’s statehood supporters are concerned that the results could reveal the low support that Republicans have on the island.

Members of the Popular Democratic Party (PPD by its Spanish initials), instead, are in favor of the symbolic vote in the 2024 elections. PPD is more aligned with the Democratic party.

“I think the initiative will break the myth or clarify the perception of whether Puerto Rico is dominated by Democrats or Republicans. For this reason, I support carrying out the presidential poll,” Rafael “Tatito” Hernández Montañez, president of the House of Representatives, told El Nuevo Día.

If the election were held today, the presidential candidates would be the current president, Joe Biden, and former president Donald Trump, who continues to dominate national polls for the Republican candidacy.

This would further complicate the outlook for Republicans, considering Trump’s disastrous past with the island.

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The former president had a late response to the severe damage caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017. When he visited the island to see the damages for himself, he said that Puerto Rico had a negative impact on the budget and he then threw rolls of paper towels at the victims.

Later it was learned that in official meetings he asked if Puerto Rico could be sold. He also made the disbursement of federal funds to the island more difficult, and he opposes statehood.



  • Mivette Vega

    Mivette Vega is a seasoned journalist and multimedia reporter whose stories center the Latino community. She is passionate about justice, equality, environmental matters, and animals. She is a Salvadorrican—Salvadorian that grew up in Puerto Rico—that has lived in San Juan, Venice, Italy, and Miami.



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