Puerto Rico voted on becoming a State yesterday during the election and for the first time people voted in favor of statehood.
The citizens of the U.S. Territory were polled about potential statehood in two questions. Voters rejected their current status as a U.S. commonwealth by a 54% to 46% margin in the first question. In the second inquiry, 61% of voters chose statehood as the alternative, 33% chose for the semi-autonomous “sovereign free association”, and 6% voted for outright independence.
Many believe that the huge economic downturn and ever shrinking population were the key factors that pushed voters support for statehood where previous attempts had failed. Puerto Rico’s inhabitants are currently considered U.S. citizens but cannot vote in presidential elections. Also its resident commissioner in the U.S. House has limited voting powers.
President Barack Obama has expressed his approval for the referendum, and now that he has maintained his position as president it seems like now more than ever we may be gaining a new state. The referendum must be addressed by the U.S. Congress before it can continue on it’s path to statehood.
What do you think about us gaining a 51st state? Let us know in the comments below!