Puerto Rico and the election

JayMar mentioned in an email that the radio stations in Puerto Rico are not interested in the election. There is a reason.

People born in Puerto Rico (ignoring military bases) have a peculiar legal status. They are US citizens, but are not residents of the United States if they live in Puerto Rico. Because Puerto Rico is not a state, they get no electoral votes. As a result, they don’t vote in the election. The same is true for Guam, US Virgin Islands, American Samoa and other US controlled territories. DC was in a similar situation until a Constitutional amendment was passed granting them status as a state for purposes of the Presidential election.

But Puerto Ricans can vote for President, as long as they don’t live in Puerto Rico. Like US citizens that reside outside the country, they can request an absentee ballot from the last state they claimed to be a resident of. New York would be a popular choice – however, if a person votes as a non-resident, they could make themselves subject to state income tax. Florida has no state income tax.

There is a process for this – in 1986, the Reagan administration passed the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, primarily intended to help US citizens in the military or civilian agencies of the US government to vote in the Presidential election, but it applies also to American citizens living outside the United States. To vote absentee, the person had to request a ballot from the last state where they claimed to be a Resident 50 days before the election. That gives time for the state to decide if they are really qualified to vote. If the state agrees, they mail out a ballot and it must be postmarked by November 8th.

The US embassies play a role in facilitating this process, but since Puerto Rico is not a foreign country, they do not have an embassy. It has been said it is easier for a Puerto Rican to vote for President from London than from San Juan, because states are more likely to scrutinize and reject a request for a ballot with a mailing address in Puerto Rico.

If you were paying attention, US territories did vote in the primaries and had delegates in the political conventions – so while they played a role in choosing Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, they do not generally vote in the November election unless they actually live in the 58 states of America.. There is an election process in Puerto Rico on November 8th to elect leaders of Puerto Rico, but not President of the United States.


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12 Responses to Puerto Rico and the election

  1. briand75 says:

    Tsk, Tsk. Everyone knows there are 57 states 🙂

  2. JayMar says:

    I spoke yesterday with my sister. She retired as an attorney the DOJ a few years back, and decided to retire in PR. It’s true, it’s easier for her to vote if she were in London than PR, but after heavy grilling she received her ballot about 40 days later. Her last address was in DC, and we were born in a military base.

    My volunteering here led me to check on the apparent proliferation of non-denominational religious radio stations. She tells me that is a major racket with “churches” in every corner and “pastors” living high on the hog. These preaching gangsters get a tax-free charter and get a radio station label it religious but play normal music and/or political talk. So in addition to fleecing the followers they wholly own their commercial stations and make “more money than god.” Many live in mansions “because the lord gave it to them.” There is one particular pastor Wanda Rolon that is called Wanda Rolex for her affinity toward the watches. Another owns two BMWs and one Cadillac. And it goes on and on.

    Puerto Ricans are basically followers and like sheep needing shepherds they follow these pastors blindly.

    I guess I missed my spot in life, I speak christianese and could be living in my own personal tropical island, fishing everyday and enjoying life, just working on Sundays.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      You’re an interesting guy 😉

      It’s a common misconception that people who work for nonprofit organizations can’t draw huge salaries. Just ask Chelsea Clinton.

      There are so many aspects to your observations – talking about religion gets people excited, so here goes. Firstly my disclaimer that your remarks about specific individuals are your opinions and my releasing your comment does not mean I agree with your opinion. I would urge you to be cautious about making comments that might get a lawyer reaching out to me

      The Spanish speaking people of the Western Hemisphere have traditionally been Roman Catholic. There has been a large trend over the last several decades of those people switching to evangelical Protestant churches. At the same time, as US Catholic parishes have gone broke due to declining membership and lawsuit settlements, the church has become very active in the “sanctuary” movement, resettling illegal immigrants and protecting them from law enforcement. In some states (Michigan comes to mind)’ the catholic charities have become very effective at milking the Social Services agencies.

      Rather than creating one big long comment with 22 different topics, I’m going to try to create separate topics in different comments…

      • CC1s121LrBGT says:

        A lot of interesting people at SRG. 😉

        You may recall that in the Presidential election 56 years ago, the public was worried that one of the candidates did not believe in a US based Protestant religion but rather a foreign controlled religion.

        Fast forward 56 years and debate is over US based or foreign based Carrier air conditioners and Ford automobiles. 😉

        Today marks the death of Clinton appointed Janet Reno, known for exterminating children in Waco to protect them from illegal drugs according to the warrants she had approved. Many people forget that her actions inspired the bombing of the Federal Building in OKC a few years later. Would Janet have burned these people to death of they were Protestants or Catholics? Was she really trying to exterminate their new religion so that it would not take root as Mormonism had?

    • Fred Stiening says:

      Regarding Radio and religion, Salem broadcasting is an interesting example. Salem is a religious broadcaster who is listed on the stock market. They are not a charity and you do not get a tax deduction if you send them money. What they do instead is rent time to religious ministries – listeners can send money to the 401(c)(3) ministry, which takes their cut and then passes the money through to the for profit corporation. In some cases, the preacher has been dead for 20 years – the only activity of the ministry is to milk the recordings for revenue.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      Behind the scenes, I recently built an extract of the EWTN (Catholic) radio network and showed it to Brian, but haven’t actually done anything with it yet to update the database. Lay Catholic groups sometimes choose names that make it obvious they are a Catholic charity, but not always. With Spanish language religious stations, I can’t tell if they are Catholic or not. Unless they have clear markers that I recognize, I have dumped them into Spanish language (Protestant). I’m sure I have made some mistakes. Let me know if sorting out religious stations into piles gets your juices flowing 😉

      • Fred Stiening says:

        Here is the analysis of the EWTN affiliates – it is not intended to be human friendly. Right now it just lists every station and cryptic information about the current status – it is a work in process


        This process is problematic – EWTN lists stations that run their programs, but not necessarily 24 hours a day. Some operations like Immaculate Heart Radio run their own independent operations with their own streams.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      Nothing would make me happier than if you recruited other people like yourself to help. I am under no delusion that this directory is earthsakingly important in the big scheme of things, but it does keep my mind occupied. My standard line is it is more interesting than going to the senior center and playing bingo. I realize some of the regulars have jobs and little time to help. But I feel confident there are millions of retired people out there bored silly with lots of time and a curiosity about things around them.

  3. JayMar says:

    Sorry about my comments without the usual “alleged.” I shall bear that in mind. My wife says I am usually a black and white individual without middle or gray ground. Typical ex-mil, but I will watch what I say.

    I am trying to “re-program” my mind with the old tapes from “The Greatest Salesman of the World” by Og Mandino. It worked when I was young but at 76 I have become cantankerous and disagreeable. I am still working on the first tape “I will greet this day with love in my heart…” After listening to this for a couple of hours, I go into an anti-Hillary-Trump-Muslim-Communist-Obama-AAAAARGHHH rant, and wonder what happened to the love?

    Again, sorry, will be more aware on how I say things… with love in my heart.

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