Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Puerto Rico Votes For Statehood

Puerto Rico voted for statehood on the status plebiscite November 6, 2012.  The majority of the voters rejected the current Commonwealth status and voted for statehood.  The plebiscite ballot had two questions.  First voters had to choose whether they wanted the current status of Commonwealth to continue, and second, if voters rejected the Commonwealth status, voters had to choose one of three alternatives to the current status: statehood, independence and sovereign free association.

The rejection to the current status of Commonwealth got 54 percent of the votes and 46 percent favored the Commonwealth status.  On the second part of the ballot, the choice of Statehood won with 61 percent of the votes, sovereign free association got 33 percent and independence got 5.5 percent of the votes.

The non-binding referendum would require final approval from Congress.  Recently President Barack Obama had expressed support for the referendum and pledged to respect the will of the people in the event of a clear majority.  The residents of Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens, but are prohibited from voting in presidential elections and Puerto Rico's resident commissioner in the U.S. House has no voting powers.

The vote for statehood has put Puerto Rico on the spotlight.  Millions of people outside the island have become interested about the future of Puerto Rico.  Some have mentioned, that Puerto Rico becoming the 51st state, could be an opportunity for the Republican Party to show inclusiveness to Hispanic voters.  A petition has been posted on the White House website asking the Obama administration to take action on the results of the referendum in Puerto Rico.  The petition wants to get 25,000 signatures.  Here is the petition:


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