Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Puerto Rico Votes For Statehood

This is an important issue, but their first focus should be the budget and the economy. If they wait to long, the decision will be made for them.

"Garcia Padilla’s party backs the status quo of semi-autonomy as a territory. Puerto Ricans rejected that option by a wider margin than the gubernatorial election, though:

A slim majority of Puerto Ricans sought to change their ties with the United States and become the 51st U.S. state in a non-binding referendum that would require final approval from Congress.

The two-part referendum asked whether the island wanted to change its 114-year relationship with the United States. Nearly 54 percent, or 922,374 people, sought to change it, while 46 percent, or 786,749 people, favored the status quo. Ninety-six percent of 1,643 precincts were reporting as of early Wednesday.

The second question asked voters to choose from three options, with statehood by far the favorite, garnering 61 percent. Sovereign free association, which would have allowed for more autonomy, received 33 percent, while independence got 5 percent.
This referendum carries no legal weight, but it does have political implications at home and in Washington. An eight-point victory for statehood isn’t exactly “narrow,” as ABC News describes it; it’s a fairly strong statement of some consensus, especially paired with the 61% who chose statehood from three options, including independence, which finished last. After having made that statement, Puerto Ricans will understandably expect some action to result from it, which drops the issue into the lap of the next Congress.

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