Besides all the drama surrounding the presidential and congressional elections, there are the elections in Puerto Rico, our Caribbean territory some would like to make a state.
From the Associated Press:
People across Puerto Rico awaited final results Wednesday following elections that saw long lines of voters and produced a tight gubernatorial race in the U.S. Caribbean territory.
[Puerto Rico Awaits Final Result in Tight Gubernatorial Race by Danica Coto, Associated Press, November 4, 2020]
Puerto Rico has its own autonomous government with proceedings in the Spanish language. The Puerto Rican governor resides in La Fortaleza, the oldest continuously-occupied executive mansion in the New World, built from 1534–1540.
Pedro Pierluisi of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party held a slight lead over Carlos Delgado of the Popular Democratic Party, which supports the island's current status. More than 12,000 votes separated the top two candidates after counting more than 95% of the ballots cast Tuesday as well as some returns from early and absentee ballots, which were also still being tallied. Pierluisi celebrated the early results and held a news conference, while Delgado said shortly after midnight that he would await final results.
Puerto Rico also has a non-voting representative in Congress.
Meanwhile, Jenniffer González, Puerto Rico’s current representative in U.S. Congress and Pierluisi's running partner, easily won a second term.
It looks as though the island is in a time of transition.
It's the first time in recent history that either of Puerto Rico's two main parties failed to secure more than 40% of the overall vote as new parties and candidates erode the grip that both parties have long had on the island.
Then there was the statehood referendum.
in addition to the general election, voters also faced a nonbinding referendum that asked, “Should Puerto Rico be admitted immediately into the union as a state?"
U.S. statehood was leading with more than 52% support, with more than 95% of votes counted. However, U.S. Congress would have to approve of any changes to the island’s political status.
Puerto Rican statehood would benefit the Democrats much more than the Republicans, plus it would increase the growing bilingualization of the United States.
On the other hand, the independence party did better than usual.
Trailing the two main candidates were Juan Dalmau of the Puerto Rican Independence Party, which for the first time since the 1950s obtained double-digit support...
Then there's this:
The candidates faced a dwindling voter base because of emigration caused by hardship. There are 2.36 million eligible voters, compared with 2.87 million in 2016 and 2.4 million in 2012.
Despite the drop in eligible voters, the diversity of parties and candidates has increased in recent years, slowly eroding the grip that the New Progressives and Popular Democrats have had on the island’s politics for decades.
What ought to be done is to put the island on the path of independence. For a case for Puerto Rican independence, see ¡Viva Puerto Rico Libre! Free Puerto Rico (And The U.S.) Now!