The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) has issued a Resolution in Support of Self Determination and Equality for Puerto Rico.
NASS offers six premises for the resolution:
- Puerto Rico has been a territory of the United States, owned by the U.S. and therefore “a part of the United States of America” since 1898.
- Individuals born in Puerto Rico have been citizens of the United States since 1917.
- Puerto Rico’s constitution was approved by the U.S. Congress in 1952.
- Many presidents have supported statehood for Puerto Rico. NASS lists as examples Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush.
- Voters chose statehood in the last two plebiscites, in 2012 and 2017.
- NASS is “the nation’s oldest nonpartisan professional organization for public officials, serving as a medium for the exchange of information between states and fostering cooperation in the development of public policy affecting the lives of tens of millions of Americans, including the more than three million Puerto Ricans that reside on the island.”
“Be it resolved by the National Associaion of Secretaries of States,” the statement continues, “that it hereby confirms its support of the Government of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican people’s efforts towards attaining statehood, as such was the Puerto Rican electorate will expressed though their suffrage on November 6, 2012, and June 11, 2017.”
NASS has in its membership the secretaries of state of all the 50 states, Washington D.C., and the U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico. States which do not have a secretary of state are represented by the individual in the comparable position, such as the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth and the Alaska Lt. Governor.
The organization is a professional society for Democratic, Republican, and Independent public servants. They provide resources for states and businesses, focusing on election cybersecurity, voter rights, digital projects, and civil rights issues.
The resolution supporting Puerto Rico was adopted at the NASS 2018 Winter Conference.