The election is in four days, but there's still a lot up in the air. The polls are tighter than ever, voting is tougher in key states, and there's still those pesky Hillary Clinton emails dominating the news.

However, there's one thing we know for sure: Latinos will be a deciding factor in who gets to move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. There's also a secret voting block that may play a crucial role in choosing the next president: Puerto Ricans. 

While Puerto Rico isn't a state, its citizens are still an important part of the country. Yet many, including Twitter user Buster Hendrix, have implied that Puerto Ricans "add nothing to America." That's simply untrue — and we can prove it. 

Below, we've answered three big questions about Puerto Rican voters — and how important they are in this too-close-to-call election.

Will Puerto Ricans be deported if Donald Trump is elected?

Puerto Ricans Bernie Sanders Democratic National Convention
photo: Getty Images


Puerto Ricans have been American citizens since Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones- Shafroth Act in 1917. Congress bestowed islanders with statutory citizenship, so anyone in Puerto Rico at the time and all those born afterward are US citizens.

My father and sister-in-law were born and raised in Puerto Rico, but are still considered natural-born U.S. citizens. However, there's still confusion about their citizenship. A receptionist even asked my sister-in-law for her green card when she dropped off paperwork at a city office.

This is not surprising: A YouGov poll from May found that only 43% of Americans know that Puerto Ricans are citizens.

Can Puerto Ricans vote?

Puerto Rico isn't a state, so those who still live on the island are not eligible to cast a vote during the presidential election. The Supreme Court decided that Puerto Rico, like Guam, America Samoa, the US Virgin Islands, and other American territories, belongs to the United States, but are "not part of" the country.

However, Puerto Ricans can vote in the presidential primaries — and many are pushing to be able to cast a ballot in the general election.

Also, there are 5.1 million people of Puerto Rican descent living in the United States. They're eligible to vote if they're over the age of 18 and register in their respective states.

Will Puerto Ricans have a big impact on the US election?

Puerto Ricans can't decide an election on their own because they're only 1.5% of the entire US population. 

HoweverPuerto Ricans are part of the diverse coalition of Latinos who are turning the election upside down. Puerto Rican celebrities, like Gina Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez, are actively campaigning for Hillary Clinton. 

Lopez performed at a Miami concert for Clinton's campaign on October 30. She also encouraged her fellow Latinos to vote.

"I encourage all Latinos to go out and vote and have their voice be heard because we do hold a lot of power in that sense," she said during a red carpet event in July.

Similarly, Rodriguez, who stars on "Jane the Virgin," has partnered with mitú to get out the vote. She interviewed president Obama about the importance of the Latino vote on November 4.

"Latinos have the power to make a real difference in this election," she said in a press statement. "We share struggles that are unique to our diverse experiences as a Latino community and that is why now, more than ever, it's important for us to come together on November 8 to shape the kind of world we want to live in."

Rodriguez is on to something important: Latinos can make waves in this election. Their presence is enough to turn conservative states Democratic. For example, many Puerto Ricans are moving to Florida due to the island's financial deficit. This move has allowed them to register to vote. 

In fact, the increase in Puerto Rican voters is one of the main reasons Florida, a traditionally conservative state, is now considered a swing state. Other Latinos are turning states like Utah, Texas, and Arizona, purple as well. 

Puerto Ricans emigrating from the island to the United States are also very civic minded. The Pew Research Center found more Latinos are now digitally savvy and educated at a time when it's important for us to be informed.

Puerto Ricans hold major weight in this election. Here's hoping they flex their political muscles on November 8.