Gov. Rosselló asks Puerto Ricans to vote in U.S. midterm elections
SAN JUAN – During a town hall meeting in Florida, convened by the Puerto Rico Statehood Commission and the Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA) and titled “Say Yes to Puerto Rico: The Importance of Civic Participation in U.S. Elections,” Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló asked those present to support candidates in the midterm elections in November “who support equal rights for Puerto Rico.”
The midterm elections include voting for the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of the 100 Senate seats, as well as governors for 36 states. Also, state and municipal legislatures and citizen initiatives are voted on next month.
The governor stressed that it was important that all Puerto Ricans residing stateside “whether in largely Democratic states like New Jersey, Republican states like Texas, or toss-ups like Ohio,” go to the polls, according to a release issued by his office, La Fortaleza.
“Puerto Ricans can and should flex their civic muscle in the Congressional districts and states throughout the nation to ensure that the priorities of Puerto Ricans are taken seriously,” he said. “By voting for Puerto Rico, we can do more than restore power throughout the Island: We can lay the foundations for generations of Puerto Ricans to occupy their rightful place, along with our fellow Americans, in favor of equality.”
Rosselló spoke at the at the event in the Miami Chamber of Commerce alongside Former Gov. Carlos Romero Barceló, Democratic Party of Puerto Rico Chairman Charlie Rodríguez and Col. Luis Berríos Amadeo, all of whom are members of the Statehood Commission.
The governor said that if Puerto Ricans voted at the same rate stateside as they do on the island, “82 percent instead of 32 percent,” they could change the U.S. political landscape.
“We have 5.6 million Puerto Ricans living throughout the territory of the continental United States. We must show that we have strength and we will use it in any district where members of Congress vote against the best interests of Puerto Rico,” he said, adding, “We must show that Puerto Ricans demand statehood, not second-class colonial status.”
Rosselló reiterated his belief that, the aftermath of Hurricane Maria “made it clear that the island’s colonial status and lack of voting in Congress have resulted in Puerto Ricans being treated as second-class citizens,” La Fortaleza said.
“We cannot talk about democracy in places like Cuba, Venezuela, and Afghanistan if we are not willing to talk about the deprivation of rights of U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico,” he said about his stance regarding the political treatment of the island.