July 25, 2021

New York Puerto Rican community intensifies its registration to vote

New York Puerto Rican community intensifies its registration to vote



Many organizations across the US they made great efforts to register the largest number of voters for the elections of tomorrow and several focused on the Puerto Rican community, especially in New York, displaced to several states after Hurricane Maria that destroyed their country in 2017.

Main destinations of this new emigration of Puerto Ricans, US citizens, were Florida, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New York, that until that wave, which began in 2012 with the fiscal crisis and increased after the Maria, had been the state with the largest population of Puerto Ricans , where they have achieved political power with representatives in the local, state and federal legislatures, with two congressmen.

The third Latino in the federal legislature for New York is Senator Adriano Espaillat, the first of Dominican origin.

Puerto Ricans – 8.5% of the city's 8.6 million people – are the largest electoral group among Hispanics, with 70% registered as Democrats.

Hispanics are also 16% of all Democratic voters in the state, although most live in the city.

The National Association of Latino Elected Officials estimates that more than 515,000 Hispanics will vote tomorrow in this state.

The number of Puerto Ricans potential voters increased in the US in general with the emigration caused by the devastation on the island after the hurricane.

This year's data from the Puerto Rican Studies Center in New York, based on the Census, indicates that the number of Puerto Ricans eligible to vote rose from 3.6 million in 2015 to more than 3.8 million.

Activists and community organizations focused efforts on these newcomers, particularly in important states such as Florida.

In 2017, there was a population of 5,588,664 Puerto Ricans across the United States. For that date, they represented 1.7 percent of the total number of citizens eligible to vote and 13.3 percent among Hispanics, according to the Census.

"Puerto Ricans traditionally vote for Democrats" and New York is not the exception, Carlos Vargas, professor and researcher at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, told Efe.

Therefore candidates who are under the label of the Democratic Party will get their votes, and Latinos in general, Vargas points. In New York, they will vote for statewide positions, headed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who seeks to revalidate a third term as a Democrat, in Congress and by local judges.

According to Vargas, although Puerto Rico has a high voter turnout rate, this is not the case when they are based in the United States because they are different electoral systems.

"In Puerto Rico the elections are very competitive, the popular (Popular Democratic Party) and the penepés (New Progressive Party) change in power and that is an incentive to mobilize the population, but in New York they are not competed," Indian.

"In what way is there competition between Democrats and Republicans? Here the elections are decided in the primaries.In addition, in Puerto Rico elections are every four years and here there are more and people get tired," he said.

An organization that registered newly arrived Puerto Ricans to Pennsylvania, particularly in Allentown and Reading, was Planned Parenthood, as part of the national campaign that began in June to register voters.

"We have seen many excited to vote, for what they have felt about this administration of President Donald Trump and everything he has not done for the community" after Hurricane Maria, Ecuadorian President José Alfaro, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Vote campaign told Efe of Planned Parenthood.

Even, Alfaro said, some have lived for many years in Pennsylvania and mobilized for the first time to register to vote tomorrow.

The Hispanic Federation of New York also carried out an intense campaign, mainly in Florida, where there was also great interest in this community.

However, Vargas considers that those who will vote mainly will be those who reside in the United States. for more time

"Those who are more motivated to go out to vote, as a sequel to Hurricane Maria, are those who have organized in the US, in states such as New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts or Connecticut, upset by the lack of attention to the displaced "by the hurricane, he says.

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