The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico voted for statehood on Sunday, but virtually no one expects them to join the union anytime soon.
Only about 23% of eligible voters turned out for the election, and 97% of them voted for statehood. But opposition parties that favored independence for the island or a maintenance of the political status quo urged their supporters not to participate in what they called a "rigged" election.
Congress, the only body that can approve new states, will ultimately decide whether the status of the US commonwealth changes.
Generation - Puerto - Ricans - Washington - End
"It will be up to this new generation of Puerto Ricans to demand and claim in Washington the end of the current improper colonial relationship, and begin a transition process to fully incorporate Puerto Rico as the next state of the Union," Governor Ricardo Rosselló of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party said in a statement Sunday.
For Puerto Rico to become a US state, Congress would need to pass a statute laying out the transition process. If Congress does not pass a statute, Puerto Rico's status will remain as it is.
Options - Weekend - Referendum - Commonwealth - State
Options on the weekend referendum included remaining a commonwealth, becoming a state or entering free association/independence. Free association is an official affiliation with the United States. Typically it would include Puerto Rico still receiving military assistance and funding but the ballot says the terms would be agreed upon by the two countries as sovereign nations.
The island picked a horrible time to ask to become the 51st state. They have all but declared bankruptcy due to their massive $70 billion debt More than a third of island residents participate in the SNAP food stamp program and unemployment is a whopping 14%. Both capital and people have been fleeing the island for years leaving Puerto Rico impoverished.
Vote - Governor - Senators
But with this vote, the governor will appoint 2 senators...
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Communist, Socialist, Democrat, Republican, at this point, what difference does it make.