Legislation, Presidential & Congressional Politics/Current Presidental Question



I saw on the news a day or so ago that Puerto Rico went to Ted Cruz. I thought Puerto Rico was only a US Territory and not involved in the voting process. Or at least, that is what I understood.

After noticing that about Puerto Rico I wondered if American Sonoma also was allowed to vote.

If these two places are not states how are they allowed to vote in Presidential elections.

Thanks for your time in answering my questions.


Suzie aka KyBunnies


Puerto Rico voted overwhelmingly for Rubio, not Cruz.

You are correct that US territories do not get to vote in the general election.  They have no electoral votes under under the Constitution.  DC is the only non-State that gets any electoral votes.  Those were added by Constitutional Amendment (23rd Amendment, adopted in 1961).

Several US Territories, however, do hold primary elections and do send voting delegates to the Republican and Democratic Conventions.  Their votes can help pick the party nominee.  They just don't have a role in the general election.

In addition to Puerto Rico, American Samoa had its Democratic contest on March 1 (Clinton won 4 delegates).  The Republican contest is on March 22.  Also upcoming are contests for Guam, Northern Marianas, and US Virgin Islands.  The Democrats even have a contest for US citizens living abroad in foreign countries.

I hope this helps!  

Legislation, Presidential & Congressional Politics

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Michael Troy


I can answer just about any question about U.S. Political history, Constitutional law, the legislative process, elections, etc. I enjoy Presidential and Congressional historical trivia, but can answer more substantive questions too.


Former Staff member for a Congressman and Senator. I also worked on about 10 Congressional and Presidential campaigns (only one that won). For a short time, I worked in the legal department of the Federal Election Commission.    I have a B.A. in Political Science.

Former LBJ Fellow (paid fellowship for Congressional Staff).
Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honorary Society).

Washington Post
Washington Times

J.D. University of Michigan
B.A. George Washington University (Poli. Sci. major).

Awards and Honors
LBJ Fellow
Truman Scholar

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.