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Matt Rosenberg

Puerto Rico Votes for Statehood

By November 7, 2012

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Puerto Rico FlagIn their fourth referendum on the subject since 1967, the citizens of Puerto Rico have for the first time selected statehood as their preferred relationship with the United States. (Puerto Rico is currently a territory of the United States.) In Tuesday's vote, two questions about Puerto Rico's status on the ballot. The first question, "Do you agree to maintain current territorial political status?" resulted in nearly 54% voting no. The second question as to what relationship Puerto Rico should have with the United States resulted in about 61% selecting statehood, 33% voting for "associated free state" (akin to Greenland's current status with Denmark), and a mere 5.5% selecting independence.

Statehood is not guaranteed for Puerto Rico as a bill must be initiated and pass the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate and then signed by the President of the United States. President Obama has previously suggested that he would, "respect the will of the people in the event of a clear majority." It is not known if a 54% vote is a clear majority that would result in Puerto Rico becoming the 51st state of the United States.

Comments

November 12, 2012 at 7:04 am
(1) rowlandw says:

P.R. would be a liberal (Democratic leaning) state. It would be more likely to become a state if there were another candidate state that would be conservative (Republican) to balance Congress. That’s why Alaska and Hawaii came in as a pair, Either state alone would have faced more difficulty in getting Congressional approval.

November 12, 2012 at 8:10 am
(2) Betty says:

I have read that the voter turnout was very low, meaning that the 61% does not represent such a large proportion of the population. If the US wants to pursue the matter, perhaps a referendum asking “Do you want to be a State of the United States, yes or no?,” would clarify matters from the Puerto Rican side at least. From the U.S. side, I believe the previous poster makes a very good point.

November 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm
(3) Gerry says:

50 States is a perfect number. 100 Senators. Makes for easy statistics and percentages etc. The stars on the flag fit nicely. 51 doesn’t work.
Puerto Rico should be independent or keep the status quo.

November 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm
(4) Lars Knudsen says:

What’s the flag going to look like with an extra state? Any ideas?

November 12, 2012 at 2:28 pm
(5) normaneddy says:

51 star flag is already designed…as is 52, 53, 54…70! check out the math at http://danbliss.blogspot.com/2011/11/51-star-flag.html

November 13, 2012 at 9:12 am
(6) Stoutboy says:

I agree 50 is a nice round number. Here’s my idea: we could let Puerto Rico in and allow one malcontent state to leave. If more than one state wanted to go, they could engage in a bidding war. Who knows, the winning bid might take a nice chunk out of the deficit!

November 14, 2012 at 12:16 am
(7) Patsy says:

Stoutboy has a great idea. I suggest that Texas leaves the Union (that’s what they want anyway. It would serve the blighters right.

November 14, 2012 at 7:47 pm
(8) Frank A LoPresti says:

By all means, let ‘em in as a state! We need more liberal Hispanic voters, senators, congressmen, etc.. What we DON’T need is more conservative jackasses like that Georgia congeressman who recently characterized evolution climate change, and quitwe possibly plate tectonics, as “lies from the pit of Hell”!! LET ‘EM IN!!!

December 28, 2012 at 7:59 am
(9) Dotman says:

one by one the States added up to be 50. Why not the addition now? Was there not a time the states were 40 and an addition created an odd number?

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