• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Puerto Rican Statehood – Don’t Rig the Election

    H.R. 2499, the Puerto Rico Democracy Act, contains language that will rig the election in favor of Puerto Rican statehood. I have written a more comprehensive post titled “Puerto Rico Democracy Act – Legislation Biased in Favor of Statehood” on why this legislation is biased in favor of statehood. The Senate is the next stop for this legislation, and it will be interesting to see if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) tries to bring up the bill this year. One important point of contention is the fact that this process is far different from the pathways of Alaska and Hawaii to statehood.

    As I wrote on the Foundry:

    The legislation contains many questionable provisions. First, the legislation sets up a voting process rigged for success. The legislation sets up a preliminary vote and the voters are given two options. If a majority of Puerto Ricans vote in favor of changing the status of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to “a different political status,” then a second vote would be scheduled to poll voters on the following three options:

    1. “Independence: Puerto Rico should become fully independent from the United States;”

    2. “Sovereignty in Association with the United States: Puerto Rico and the United States should form a political association between sovereign nations that will not be subject to the Territorial Clause of the United States Constitution;” and,

    3. “Statehood: Puerto Rico should be admitted as a State of the Union.”

    This vote is rigged. The Puerto Rican people have rejected statehood on three occasions. The first vote was in 1967 when the people of Puerto Rico chose to continue as a Commonwealth (60%) over the other choices of statehood (39%) or independence (1%). In the two other votes, in 1993 and 1998, the people of Puerto Rico rejected statehood by closer margins. The obvious question is: why would we expect this vote to be different? We expect it to be different because the proponents of statehood have set up a false choice in the voting process.

    According to H.R. 2499, the Puerto Rican people will get to vote on the following question:

    Mark one of the following 2 options:

    1. Puerto Rico should continue to have its present form of political status.

    2. Puerto Rico should have a different political status.”

    If a majority votes for “continue to have its present form of political status,” then Puerto Rico can schedule votes every 8 years until they get a majority for Option 2. If a majority chooses Option 1, then they would be voting to say as a Commonwealth. It is odd that the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico would be empowered to schedule elections every 8 years until they can pass the change option.

    If a majority of Puerto Ricans vote for “a different political status,” then there will be a second vote, a plebiscite, to poll Puerto Ricans on the new status including “Independence,” “Sovereignty in Association with the United States,” or “Statehood.” This provides a false choice. This bifurcated vote is intended to disenfranchise those voters who choose to remain a Commonwealth in the first vote, because they are not given the option “Commonwealth” in the second vote. It is possible for 49% of the voters to choose to remain a Commonwealth, yet they will not have the option to vote for a Commonwealth in the second vote.

    Another provision that rigs the process in favor of statehood is the fact that Puerto Rican born citizens will be allowed to vote in this election without a residency requirement. If a Puerto Rican national is born in the Commonwealth, then moves to the states, that individual would be allowed to vote in Puerto Rico and the state they reside. This is unfair and common sense dictates that Puerto Rican nationals living in the United States are more likely to vote for statehood than an individual who has resided in Puerto Rico their whole life.

    This process parts from the examples of Alaska and Hawaii. According to the Alaska Historical Society, “in 1955, the territorial legislature passed legislation authorizing a constitutional convention. Alaskan voters elected fifty-five delegates from across the territory. They met at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks in November 1955 to write a constitution for the proposed state. Alaskans voted approval of the constitution in April 1956. The new constitution was to take effect when and if Congress granted statehood for Alaska.” According to the official website of the Hawaii 50 Anniversary of Statehood Commission, “on November 7, 1950- The Hawai‘i State Constitution is approved by the people with a vote of 82,788 to 27,109.”

    It is possible to win statehood with a mere 34% of the vote deviating from the Alaska and Hawaii precedents. Congressman Doc Hastings (R-WA) argues that “H.R. 2499 deviates strongly from the precedent and process used to admit Alaska and Hawaii as states. If a Congressionally-sanctioned plebiscite is sought first in a manner directly contrary to the Alaska and Hawaii precedent, as H.R. 2499 does, then understanding of what statehood would mean to Puerto Rico and the existing 50 states – but that is not at all happening in the House.” Statehood may be the choice of a majority of Puerto Ricans and the process should be fixed so that the precedent set over 50 years ago is followed. A simple plurality of Puerto Rican voters is not enough to prove that the residents of Puerto Rico really want statehood.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    41 Responses to Puerto Rican Statehood – Don’t Rig the Election

    1. Annika, Florida says:

      The part where you state, "….. common sense dictates that Puerto Rican nationals living in the United States are more likely to vote for statehood than an individual who has resided in Puerto Rico their whole life." I believe to be untrue. I am a first generation born in the U.S. of Puerto Rican parents (who were born in Puerto Rico). I don't want statehood for Puerto Rico. My other family members (the few that reside in the U.S.) don't want statehood. While independence is a nice dream, I don't believe it is possible, considering how dependent Puerto Rico has been made to the U.S., it will be a tricky and long process. Therefore, I believe the only good choice is to remain a commonwealth.

    2. Justin F. says:

      This is ridiculous! The people of Puerto Rico do not want Statehood. There needs to be a massive informational campaign given to the voters of Puerto Rico that the only way they can maintain their desired form of status is by voting for option number 1 in the first election.

      And, what is this voting every 8 years garbage?

      If a simple majority is enough to allow a territory to become a state, why is a simple majority not enough to allow a state to secede from the Union if they can't stand these ridiculous taxes.

    3. Gary Peterson, Minne says:

      Another desperate 'in your face' tactic by the current administration to score more voters who are likely to vote democratic. His one year old voter base is shrinking and he needs to do something about that before November.

    4. Annika, Florida says:

      You should read, "The Puerto Ricans, A Documentary History" by Kal Wagenheim & Olga Jimenez de Wagenheim. A real eye opener!

    5. Tim, Rhode Island says:

      Over the 3 referenda you mention above, the statehood option increased from 39 to 47%. Recent polling on the subject has indicated that statehood advocates have a majority. This is a logical outcome of the increasing penetration of American culture on the island as well as the increasing economic and social interconnectedness of the island and the mainland, especially given the massive immigration to the later. As many people of Puerto Rican descent now live on the mainland as live on the island.

    6. Naomi, Shreveport, L says:

      The Amendment by Rep. Foxx [http://clerk.house.gov/floorsummary/floor.html] provides that the Commonwealth option will be offered in the second vote.

    7. Pingback: House Approves Puerto Rico Statehood Measure | The American Pundit

    8. Pingback: Puerto Rican Statehood ? Don't Rig the Election (Night Update) | Internet Buzz

    9. Pingback: Puerto Rican Statehood – Don’t Rig the Election - Whitley County Patriots

    10. Jude R says:

      What's next: Guam, Samoa, D.C., ……? What a sham. Non enforcement of immigration, add another state, grants, earmarks? All for the perceived favor of the 'minority' vote, or fear of? Republican or Democrat matters not. It is about bribing for votes. The voter's choice should be that we will no longer be bought.

      Oh. And if the voter opposes, as in voter rejection of statehood (3 times), our entrenched government will ram it through because it seems that we the voter have become the least common denominator in American polotics (not a mispelling).

    11. Nick, Los Angeles says:

      Far be it from me to suggest that this is another ploy by Soetoro and his band of communists, err, socialists, err Democrats to maintain power.

    12. Drew Page, IL says:

      Don't we have enough on our plate? Wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unemployment at 10% (mostly likely 15%, since many have exhausted unemployment benefits and are no longer counted as unemployed). A runaway deficit in the trillions. No border security. A raft of new hidden taxes to contend with. States and schools running out of money and facing bankruptcy. A nanny-state government dedicated to socialism and perpetual spending.and taxing. Iran and North Korea building nuclear weapons.

      And what does our Congress feel compelled to take on? Statehood for Puerto Rico. That's just great. Why don't we just annex Mexico and Central America as the next states? It will reduce the amount of border we can fail to control. While we are at it, how about we annex Canada too, they have a "free" health care system that we can all jump into, further reducing the need for border security.

    13. SAMUEL says:

      This is another obambbba tactic. More democrates to vote for government hand outs on the backs of the AMERICAN TAX PAYER.

      THIS PRESIDENT MUST BE IMPEACHED FOR DESTROYING AMERICA.

      AND MAY I SAY ALL DEMOCRATES IN CONGRESS AND THE SENATE.

      WE WILL KEEP A LIST OF EVERY ONE THAT IS PUSHING AMERICA INTO OBLITERATION.

    14. Tim AZ says:

      The Puerto Rican vote alone will not generate enough votes to keep the Mao-Bama regime in D.C.. Seven other states are now considering their own illegal alien legislation contrary to the regimes desires. If the states can successfully make it too uncomfortable for illegal aliens to remain in the U.S. then we Americans can throw off the chains that the Mao-Bama regime is attempting bind us with before he shoves us overboard. Yes they will change the power center in the House and Senate but that too can be overcome. We shall overcome.

    15. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Having lived in Puerto Rico (Ponce), I know for a fact that the people of Puerto Roco do not want statehood. It's all about 4 million Democrat voters. That's it!

      Obama will use every trick and lie to fool the Puerto Ricoian people into becoming our 51st state. Just as with the forthcomming amnisty bill, it's about

      more Democrat voters.

    16. triarii, NC says:

      If the people of Puerto Rico truely wanted to join the Union they would take the initiative to do so, there would be no question. Maybe Puerto Rico wants to maintain their own identity as a commomwealth. I'm sure they understand that once they are admitted to the Union there is no turning back. Maybe this is why they have refused statehood three times. The Administration's attempt, along with Congress, to somehow coerce or lead Puerto Rico into statehood is more like adding another province to the empire than welcoming a new state to the Union. Puerto Rico has to make that decision on their own, without interference from Congress or the Administration. It's improtant they, the Puerto Ricans, are absolutely sure because once you're in, you're in.

    17. Lisa, St. Louis says:

      This bill is unconscionable! It’s just an obvious push by Democrats to increase their base. I spent an hour yesterday calling the Republicans! who were on the fence. The answers I got from their offices were either a vote yes or that they were a co-sponsor of the bill. Outrageous! Where is the new Republican Party calling for smaller government! I am so disappointed!

    18. Pingback: We Still Don’t Want Amnesty

    19. BARGAL says:

      When the h3ll is someone in the United states government going to stand up to this Impostor in the white House and his followers in the Shameless Congress and stop this madness. Are we to just sit idly by and watch these United states of America go down the drain after all the lives that have been sacrificed to protect this great nation and those nations that are now going against us and not worth saving. Why are we allowing this manipulation to take place before our very eyes?

      Are there no representatives in our system that believe in the oath they took to guard us against all enemies both foreign and domestic? We have domestic enemies in the government that work side by side by those few that are reputable and yet the good guys do nothing. Where the h3ll did we go wrong and give up this Nation to this administration?

    20. CR Cox, Puerto Rico says:

      Any Congressional initiative to resolve the status of PR without first granting full sovereingty to the territory and releasing it from any non-local electoral controls is an attempt to disguise colonialism. Puertoricans should be able to freely express their abolutely voluntary desires even if it includes anexionism as a State without any interferance direct or indirect from Congress. A simple, democratic and respectfull expression from Congress would be to state that it will immediatelly accept without conditions ANY decision by puertorricans except, of course, statehood which would fall squarelly within the authority and choice of the USA according to its own constitution.This Act is a scam by democrats in an attempt to eventually grab two senate seats and five to six members in the House. Pro -statehooders in PR sell it by assuring them access to more welfare funds. Today more than 60% of families down there are on welfare and the island has the highest crime rate in the entire USA.

    21. GUY777 / VIRGINIA says:

      This is a Obama – Congress Scam to advance their social – progressive agenda

      for big government Anti-American take over!

      God Bless Israel, America & Our Brave Troops

      In God We the People Trust

      V-Nam Veteran

    22. GUY777 / VIRGINIA says:

      Pick one of the two comments I left or forget it! Dont know what this scite

      is looking for?

    23. Joe H says:

      I saw this on Glenn Beck. He seemed to say he was the only one that knew of this a couple of days ago. I guess you beat him to it.

    24. Toni, Great Falls, M says:

      Most of the comments have hit the nail on the head. It's all about growing the democratic base. More votes for the democrats. Just wait til amnesty gets passed. Why do you think Harry Reid wants to push it through so fast? What about restoring the voting rights of about 4 million convicted felons? The democrats are going to pull out all the stops to stay in power forever and those of us who are paying attention really need to get the word out that all of this has to stop.

    25. May Ross Hondo, TX says:

      Why has this been brought up at this time?? Aren’t there more important issues to be addressed than this when the Puerto Ricans have no desire to become a state? Since they have voted 3 times to not become a state, whose idea is it to make them a state? What and who are behind this issue? And why??

    26. Vic Delano Jacksonvi says:

      I am a naturalized Hispanic citizen of the U.S. from Panama.

      Isn't all of this an academic exercise?

      Doesn't PR get most of the benefits of statehood without the responsibilities?

      Why should they become a state?

    27. Maggie in Indiana says:

      It seems fair to say the people of Puerto Rico have not asked or demanded statehood publicly,why? The New Progressive Party in Puerto Rico it seems has been pushing for statehood for decades,and in doing so have made gains in their membership. This party is what most of us would call Rino’s or Dino’s. Why would we want their politicians in our system right now ,don’t we have a big enough divide amongst Americans already?
      Sides that we can’t afford ‘em .

    28. janet simonds says:

      I am outraged at our govt.’s shenaghans. Please send this article to Mike Pence and Eric Cantor who apparently voted for this “non-binding” legislation. Better yet, contact them personally. Thank you!

    29. Sandra Rodas, Warrenton VA says:

      I am distressed at all of the comments that “the Puerto Rican people don’t want statehood.” Isn’t that what this proposed vote is supposed to determine?
      “If the People of Puerto Rico truely (sic) wanted to join the Union, they would take the initiative to do so.” They have applied for statehood many times.
      The accusation is made that this is about increasing democratic votes. May I suggest that the resistance is about NOT increasing democratic votes? I am an independent, so have no ax to grind on either side of the vote question but would like to point out that this is about 4,000,000 US citizens having a voice, not about on which side of congress we suppose they will sit.
      I do agree that there should not be a provision for the vote to be repeated automatically if they vote to keep status quo. It certainly should be allowed to be revisited in the future if they so desire, but I believe they should have to restart the process if they do want to reconsider it at a later date.

      To say that having two votes rigs the election is preposterous. If the people of Puerto Rico want their status to remain the same, as so many people are claiming, it will be established in the first vote–end of discussion. Do you want to keep your present status, or do you want to change it–with no assorted choices confusing the issue. If they vote for change, then they will vote among the options.

      I propose that rather than assuming that we know their mind, we let the people of Puerto Rico decide whether or not they would like statehood.

    30. Harry A. Rodas says:

      I am half Puerto Rican and I support Statehood. I don’t understand how anyone can say Puerto Rican’s don’t want statehood when they have only held a handful of votes and the last one was 12 years ago. Parts are missing from the full story. Why are we even mentioning a 1967 vote. That was 43 years ago and two generations of voters have been born since then! If we look back at our country in the 60s I think we can all agree that views have changed and civil rights have moved forward. The 1967 vote is ancient history and not worthy of being mentioned.

      1993, the majority voted against staying a territory. If you combine those who wanted statehood and independence the minority was in favor staying as they are.

      In 1998 the vote including an option for “none of the above”. Think about that. Do you want to be a state? stay a territory? become an independent nation? or none of the above.

      None of the above took a lot of the vote. Some voted that way out of confusion, others to protest the absurdity of the ballot.

      Previous votes have been polls with no congressional backing and thus many did not vote at all. Further a child who was 6 at the time of the 1998 could not vote and now can.

      It is crazy for anyone to suggest that Puerto Ricans in 2010 don’t want statehood. How can anyone know that without such a vote? Is it really so offensive to vote for the 4th time in 112 years to see if mindsets have changed?

      The margins are close enough to warrant a vote. Further the every 8 years option makes total sense. We vote for The house every 2, the senate every 6 and President every 4, why is it so odd to see if anyone has changed his/her mind or if new young voters have a different view after 8 years?

      Those in Puerto Rico who oppose statehood oppose it for one reason only. They don’t want to pay income tax. There is no negative beyond that one issue. They are easily convinced that income tax will harm them more than help them. That is a valid view and they should vote their conscience on that. Congress will still control Puerto Rico in the same way it controls states if Puerto Rico remains a territory. Local laws will still be intact if Puerto Rico becomes a state.

      However, others (and a large number of others) want to have a say in the government that rules them. My father was drafted against his will and sent to Vietnam under the orders of a president for whom he could not vote and sent into a war initiated by a congress in which he had no voting representation. The same happened to my grandfather in WWII.

      With 6 seats in the House and 8 Electoral Votes Statehood would give Puerto Rico much power in the Federal Government and presidential elections. It would open the door for additional federal funds with the only downside being that nearly 4 million U.S. Citizens would have to pay federal income taxes like the rest of the country.

      The downside for other states is simple…a loss of power because those 6 seats would be taken away from other states and those states don’t want that. Some republicans oppose statehood not only because of the loss of seats but because Puerto Rico would likely elect democratic leaning people to the House and Senate.

      This is about some people not wanting to pay taxes and others not wanting to lose power.

      However in the end Puerto Rico would be greatly benefited by statehood and would not lose its legislature, governor or local laws, but would have a say in federal laws, elections and policy.

      Regardless of what anyone thinks about Statehood for Puerto Rico how can ANYONE argue against letting the people of Puerto Rico vote and give their desires? Why is it that 12 years ago was recent enough to measure today’s voters? If they don’t want statehood the majority will vote against it!

      Allowing the people to express their will should never be opposed. If those who say Puerto Rican’s do not want statehood are right then the vote will reflect that and what is there to fear? Why oppose the vote?

      If those who advocate statehood are right then the vote will reflect that.

      Think about it people. Those who oppose this bill are saying that the people of Puerto Rico should NOT be allowed to vote on their own political status and future and that we should NOT hear what they have to say. That is wrong and quite insane and an idea so contrary to the principles of our nation that I am shocked that it is even a subject of debate.

      Let the People of Puerto Rico voice their will and then debate the outcome. Fighting the idea of a vote is just wrong.

    31. David Bracer, Los An says:

      Puerto Ricans in the Island should be given the opportunity to vote in this matter. Puerto RIcans are US Citizen since 1917 and they have been under the American flags since 1898, and participating of all American wars since the First World War. Puerto Rico has never voted for their independence. Both main parties in Puerto Rico are pro permanent union with the USA and at least 80 % of the voter want to have at least something similar to a State. Just a group of no more than 20 percent support becoming a Republic or An Associated Republic ( you could even get that in some of our states) To have Puerto Rico as a Republic or Associate Republic is not a good deal to Puerto Rico because most of the supporters of those status are people who don't like too much the US we are buying for free another Cuba.

    32. David Bracer, Los An says:

      It is not true that Puerto Rico will become a democratic state, Puerto Rico is like any other state you have to do a good campaign and then you win regardless you are a Democrat or a Republican. All that is pure fantasy. Whoever says that does not know anything about politics. Puerto Rico pays the same amount of taxes — what happens is that Puerto Rico keeps the returns … Independence for Puerto Rico is a bad deal, statehood is a good deal for everyone.

    33. David Bracer, Los An says:

      In Puerto Rico to be pro INDEPENDENCE IS TO BE A COMMUNIST, HERE IS TO BE CONSERVATIVE…BE A REAL CONSERVATIVE LIKE REAGAN, BUSH, FORD AND EISENHOWER ALL PRO PUERTO RICO'S STATEHOOD.

    34. Dan Johnsen Albany, says:

      Why would a vote for Puerto Rico to became a state be written in English only(as stated in H.R. 2499), when half the country speaks and reads some form of Spanish?.

    35. BL Saldana, Puerto R says:

      Brian, darling, I can't believe you publish something as skewed as this article. And then AFA's OneNewsNow re-publishes it and request their readers to respond to a poll based on their article. Ay, ay, ay. We readers, commenting on your article, are the ones really giving the FACTS so readers can first UNDERSTAND before they DECIDE. We'll skip the unscientific poll thing, but do you get the drift of how a lot of us feel? HR 2499 came about after the acceptance of all that Puerto Rico's status was that of colonialism and NOT acceptable to the U.S. government nor us here. Therefore in order to move forward and leave behind ambiguity and lies disguised under the term of commonwealth.

    36. Mrs. Eileen G. Currás widow to Hernández (WWII) says:

      The commonwealth has not provided a concrete answer to the needs citizens have in Puerto Rico and the island does not enforce the ADA Law or many other Federal Laws. This situation will shock many in the United States taking into consideration than more than 24% of the population is People with Disabilities. What have the Federal Employees in the island are doing? In my experience, the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States has not touch Puerto Rico and the legislators on the island are at complete fault plus the federal employees in all agencies. How can we make sure they are doing things right?

    37. Tired Of Paying Your says:

      Harry A. Rodas on April 29th, 2010 at 6:59pm said:

      "Is it really so offensive to vote for the 4th time in 112 years to see if mindsets have changed?"

      It's funny that you would try to muddle the situation, by bringing in the 112 years, when you could have said "the 4th time in 43 years" but you are trying to make it seem that much longer.

      "With 6 seats in the House and 8 Electoral Votes Statehood would give Puerto Rico much power in the Federal Government and presidential elections. It would open the door for additional federal funds with the only downside being that nearly 4 million U.S. Citizens would have to pay federal income taxes like the rest of the country."

      The downside for the current states is that there are very few Puerto Ricans that are gainfully employed and able to contribute to income taxes. Instead, it will be another "low-income" source of democratic votes, that will drain the pockets of Americans who actually WORK. Americans will pick up the tab, people like me. The question I have, is why do I note have a vote in something that affects me so much?

      "Allowing the people to express their will should never be opposed. If those who say Puerto Rican’s do not want statehood are right then the vote will reflect that and what is there to fear? Why oppose the vote?"

      Well, the thing is, they force the vote every 8 years if they don't approve statehood, but if they do vote for statehood, in 8 years, they are still stuck. There should be a vote to stay a state, or declare independence every 8 years too (In the current 50 as well. I can guarantee there would no longer be 50 states).

      "Think about it people. Those who oppose this bill are saying that the people of Puerto Rico should NOT be allowed to vote on their own political status and future and that we should NOT hear what they have to say. That is wrong and quite insane and an idea so contrary to the principles of our nation that I am shocked that it is even a subject of debate."

      I'm not saying they shouldn't be allowed to vote, I'm saying they shouldn't be herded along at the voting booth. Plus, since this very much affects Americans, we should have our own right to vote on the issue.

      —————————————-

      David Bracer, Los Angeles, CA on April 29th, 2010 at 6:59pm said:

      "It is not true that Puerto Rico will become a democratic state, Puerto Rico is like any other state you have to do a good campaign and then you win regardless you are a Democrat or a Republican. All that is pure fantasy. Whoever says that does not know anything about politics. Puerto Rico pays the same amount of taxes — what happens is that Puerto Rico keeps the returns … Independence for Puerto Rico is a bad deal, statehood is a good deal for everyone."

      You are the one living in a fantasy world. If one political party promises everything that your "state" needs (IE, Enhanced Welfare, Free Healthcare, Tax "Credits" regardless of the fact that you don't pay tax, etc.) Then that will be the way the majority of the population votes, because the majority of the population is poor and on welfare. It isn't rocket science. The same thing happens if you go into the inner-city, you give people two choices:

      1.) Take free money, free healthcare, no need to work, get ahead.

      2.) Make money, be responsible for your own well-being, bust your ass, get ahead.

      Yeah, you tell me how they vote. The only people who would take #2 are people who were raised that way, and that isn't the way the majority of Puerto Ricans were raised.

      And as far as Puerto Rico paying the same amount of taxes, that is absurd. When you have 2.5 times the unemployment rate, and twice the welfare rate as the "rest" of the states, then you aren't going to be contributing to anything, except their demise.

    38. Andrew, St.Louis MO says:

      I think it's worth noting that this bill has since been revised. It now includes the following options:

      Vote 1:

      A. Maintain status quo (re-vote in 8 years).

      B. Other status (vote 2).

      Vote 2:

      A. Independence.

      B. Sovereign nation with some sort of free association with the US.

      C. Statehood.

      D. Current Status.

      This is an odd bill, and breaks with precedent in a number of ways. Firstly, it is totally against UN practice and international (or US) precedent to allow people legally not residing in Puerto Rico to vote on Puerto Rico's status. Alaskans permanently living in the lower 48 didn't get to vote on Alaskan status. Now, if Puerto Ricans want to return to Puerto Rico in anticipation of the vote, they can opt to do that. Secondly, there must be a majority for any choice to have validity. If the majority choose current status in the first vote, then that ought to be it. No voting again in 8 years.

      Having the "keep current status" option in the second round of voting is odd given that it is already in the first, but I suppose it has to be, given that if the majority support it in the first round it's judged to have no permanent validity (re-vote every 8 years).

      This is how I would do it: Have the four options right off the bat.

      A. Independence.

      B. Sovereign nation in commonwealth with the US.

      C. Statehood.

      D. Current Status.

      If one of them receives a majority, then that's their choice. If none of them get a majority in the first round, then go to a second round with the two options that received the most votes. Just like a party primary or a presidential race in many countries! I'm not sure, but I'm guessing the two options which would win for a second round would be:

      A. Statehood

      B. Sovereign nation with some sort of free association with the US.

      Then, no matter how people vote, whatever is chosen will have gotten the majority. This current bill sucks. If only 35% of people want statehood, and the rest would prefer some other option, statehood could end up winning! Dumb bill. Totally against international and US precedent. You CAN'T set up a vote to irrevocably make people part of another nation without a majority support! If China annexed Taiwan after 35% of Taiwanese voted for it, we would probably declare war on them! This bill needs to be fixed. If you're not going to do a run-off system, then at least require any permanent choice to get a majority!

    39. Carlos Carr says:

      If we are US citizens, what is waiting to be a state of the Union?

    40. Jose M. Lopez Sierra says:

      Hi,

      Here is a better way to decolonize Puerto Rico.

      José http://www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

    41. hard worker says:

      We the working people of Puerto Rico don't want Statehood, only the 61% lazy ones that don't work. We pay and you guys pay to support these people. The PNP government puts fear on the people of PR if we don't become state we will become a Haiti or a Cuba. This is not true, I believe in the working class of puerto rico. We can make our own economy, we have very talented people in our country. These governments just put fear on people and tell us that we can't do things for our self. Thats why we believe in a sovereign country in association with the united states.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×