PLEBISCITE FOR THE IMMEDIATE DECOLONIZATION OF PUERTO RICO
SUNDAY, JUNE 11, 2017
“The Puerto Rico Immediate Decolonization Act of 2017,” provides for the holding of a plebiscite on Sunday, June 11, 2017. This Act provides that any citizen who meets the requirements of this Act and Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Election Act shall be considered qualified voters, that is, to be a citizen of the United States of America and of Puerto Rico; to have a legal residence in the jurisdiction of Puerto Rico, be eighteen (18) years of age; to be duly qualified as such before the holding of the plebiscite, and have not been declared mentally incompetent by a Court. Interested citizens, including new voters, who need to carry out any transaction in the general voter registry shall have until April 28, 2017 to update their voting status, restore their registration, or register to vote in the Plebiscite. Furthermore, if voters so need, the aforementioned date shall be the deadline for requesting transfers or relocations as well as Absentee Voting, Early Voting, Accessible Polling Place at Home or Accessible Polling Place at the Polling Center. Permanent Registration Boards (PRB) of the State Election Commission in each electoral precinct or municipality shall be open to the public to conduct all of these transactions during regular business hours from March 11th to April 28th, 2017. The State Election Commission, in the discharge of the duties conferred by the law:
HEREBY PROCLAIMS that:
FIRST: On Sunday, June 11, 2017, a “Plebiscite on the Immediate Decolonization of Puerto Rico” shall be held in every election precinct of Puerto Rico, and all voters enrolled in political parties, unenrolled voters, citizen groups, political action committees, and citizens in general are hereby called to participate therein.
SECOND: The voting process shall be conducted in “open polling places” from eight o’clock in the morning (8:00 am) to three o’clock in the afternoon (3:00 p.m.). There shall be used a single ballot, which shall include “Statehood” and “Free Association/Independence” as final, permanent, non-territorial and non-colonial status options, outside the scope of any modality or method of judicial interpretation of the “territory clause” (colonial) of the U.S. Constitution (Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2) which applies to Puerto Rico to this day. Said decolonization options for the political status are not inconsistent with the Constitution, the laws, and policies of the United States of America. This Plebiscite meets the conditions imposed by the Congress and the President of the United States upon the approval of Public Law 113-76, the “Consolidated Appropriations Act (2014)”; and the corresponding congressional report on said Federal law.
THIRD: Once the results of this Plebiscite are certified by the State Election Commission, should the “Statehood” option be favored by a majority vote, the Act provides that a transition process shall begin forthwith to admit Puerto Rico into the Union with equal rights and obligations as all other states. Should the “Free Association/Independence” option be favored by a majority vote, the Act provides that a Referendum shall be automatically called for October 8, 2017 in which voters shall only be able to choose between options that provide for sovereignty separate from the United States by means of a voluntary treaty of “Free Association” with the United States, or “Independence.”
FOURTH: The same electronic canvassing system used in the General Election held on November, 8, 2016, as provided in Resolution CEE-RS-1 5-21 approved on October, 30, 2015, shall be used for this Plebiscite. Said system shall be capable of tallying votes easily, securely, and reliably using security and auditing mechanisms that ensure transparency in the voting process.
FIFTH: In accordance with the provisions of the Election Act, the presentation of the Voter Identification Card and the inking of a finger shall be required to vote. Likewise, all Voter Identification Cards issued by the date of the Plebiscite shall be valid regardless of the expiration date thereof.
SIXTH: In accordance with the Election Act, the Commission shall guarantee the right to request an Absentee Ballot and Early Ballot to all voters domiciled in Puerto Rico who qualify therefor and have made such request on or before April, 28, 2017, as provided in this Act for qualified voters.
SEVENTH: The State Election Commission shall prescribe measures or remedies as are necessary to guarantee the right to vote of any voter who, by reasons beyond his control, was unduly omitted from the General Voter Registry.
EIGHTH: In accordance with Section 6.001 of the Election Act, no public or private employer shall prevent employees from exercising their right to vote; and the “Dry Law” shall only apply from eight o’ clock in the morning (8:00 a.m.) to three o’clock in the afternoon (3:00 p.m.) on June 11, 2017, as provided in Section 12.021 of the Election Act.
NINTH: As part of the efforts to educate and inform citizens and voters on the scope of this Act and on the election processes related to this Proclamation, beginning February 21, 2017, the Commission shall provide a space on its webpage (www.ceepur.org) entitled “Puerto Rico Immediate Decolonization Act of 2017.” The Office of the Election Comptroller shall follow suit.