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Puerto Rico Wants To Become A State
Posted by Jennifer Alcaraz on Nov 8, 2012 - 6:23:07 AM

U.S. and Puerto Rico fly side by side, photo via shutterstock.
UNITED STATES—On November 6, the nation awaited the results from the presidential election between candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama.  As the results from all the propositions became known, the referendum from Puerto Rico has gained attention of the American people.


The referendum’s official report came early Wednesday morning. It consisted of two parts; the first question was whether people wanted to change its current nexus to the United States. The results showed that 54 percent want to change it, whereas 46 percent of voters still favor the state of affairs currently in place. A second question followed asking Puerto Ricans to select from three different options available regarding how they wanted to see the island change. The results revealed that the popular option was to become statehood with 61 percent of the votes, sovereign free association followed in second place with 33 percent, and in third place with 5 percent was to remain independent. 


Puerto Rico has been a sovereign free association since 1868. It is considered U.S. territory, and its inhabitants are American citizens and hold an American passport. Nevertheless, they are not permitted to vote in presidential elections and even their resident commissioner in the U.S. House has voting restrictions.


During the presidential campaign Barack Obama had conveyed his support for the referendum and the results from the majority of the votes. With the outcome of the votes showing a clear majority leaning toward statehood, it is now up to the U.S. Congress to have the final say. In addition to Congress, the status of the island will be defined by the elected governor and whether that candidate favors statehood or any of the three options offered.


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