Puerto Rico Statehood: Luis Fortuño Pushes Bid To Become 51st State After Status Vote – The Huffington Post

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November 17, 2012 by valuesvotersnyc

Majority of Puerto Rican voters didn’t support statehood.

It seems the PR statehood vote is in dispute and not likely to result in President Obama or the Congress acting on statehood for the US territory. Again. Puerto Rican voters are confused and continue to send mixed message. Voters ousted the pro-statehood Governor Luis Fortuno but re-elected the pro-statehood Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, who is a nonvoting member of Congress. It gives new meaning to divided government.

The Hill summed up expected congressional inaction as follows: The two-part referendum caused widespread confusion. It first asked voters whether they favored the island’s current commonwealth status, which many opponents refer to as colonial status. Some 52.4 percent of voters said they were dissatisfied with their current relationship with the United States,versus 44.7 percent who wanted to keep things as they are, according to the latest numbers from Puerto Rico’s State Electoral Commission. A second question asked whether voters preferred becoming a U.S. state,an independent country or a freely associated state — a status similar to that of Guam and Micronesia. All voters were supposed to answer the second question,even though maintaining the current status was not an option. The result: over 470,000 people cast blank ballots on the second question. Statehood received the most votes of the possible options,with 809,652 votes. But that only amounted to 44.9 percent of the ballots cast — well short of a majority. Statehood won about 61 percent of the votes,if the blank ballots are excluded.

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