Florida Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson earlier this month introduced a bill that would amend the US Constitution to allow the territory of Puerto Rico to be treated "as if it were a state for the purposes of the election of the president and vice president."
The proposed amendment would give the government of Puerto Rico the power to appoint electors to the Electoral College in the amount it would be due if it were a state (possibly as many as seven).
Puerto Rico, as a US territory, does not participate in presidential elections, though voters there are allowed to send representatives to represent them at national conventions. But voter trends there indicate the territory would vote blue if it were able to take part in elections, Anti-Media points out, meaning the addition of the island to the electoral college could give US Democrats a boost. That is, if the institution lasts.
The bill is unlikely to see daylight, according to Anti-Media. It has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, where Republicans outnumber Democrats 23 to 16.
Puerto Rican voters opted for statehood in a nonbinding resolution in 2012, and a pro-statehood governor and resident commissioner were elected last month.
Writing for The Hill in November, Puerto Rico state representative Jose Aponte-Hernandez said "The newly reelected Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have a mandate to promote the admission of Puerto Rico as the new state of the Union. The Republican Platform, adopted at this summer's National Convention clearly states that the GOP will respect the will of the people of Puerto Rico, free and democratically expressed in the 2012 status referendum in which 54 percent of the voters rejected the current colonial relationship with the US. In that same election, 61 percent of people that participated chose statehood as a final solution to an almost never ending story of our political relation with the nation."