Puerto Rico has long wanted to become a state, especially given the fact that they are over $70 billion in debt.
On Sunday night, Puerto Ricans overwhelmingly voted in favor of statehood.
According to the “Wall Street Journal,” 97 percent of voters voted in favor of statehood, but only 23 percent of registered voters actually voted.
“An overwhelming majority voted for statehood. Today we are sending a strong and clear message for equal rights as American citizens,” Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said, according to NBC News. “This was a democratic process and statehood got a historic 97 percent of the vote.”
Héctor Ferrer, leader of the Popular Democratic Party, had a different opinion on the outcome of the vote.
“Eight out of 10 voters went to the beach, went to the river, went to go eat, went to go hang out, went to church, but they sure didn’t go out to vote,” Ferrer said at a press conference in San Juan. “Gov. Rosselló is now going to go to Washington and say this (statehood) is what people wanted. But we’re going too to say no, that’s not true and the numbers speak for themselves.”
Conservative Tribune reports:
The next step would be for the governor to put into what’s known as the “Tennessee Plan,” which is one method by which territories can lobby to become states. The governor will select two senators and five congressmen to travel to Washington to persuade the government to recognize it as the 51st state.
According to Newsweek, six other states aside from Tennessee have used this method to attain statehood — Michigan, Iowa, California, Oregon, Kansas and Alaska. New Mexico failed in its attempt to exercise the Tennessee Plan in 1850, although it would later be granted statehood in 1912.
According to The Hill, President Donald Trump expressed a willingness to consider Puerto Rican statehood on the campaign trail. However, while the Republican Party has traditionally supported Puerto Rican statehood, conservatives may now be concerned that doing so would add two senators and seven electoral votes from a state that’s voted overwhelmingly liberal in recent years.
This vote doesn’t really tell us much considering nearly 80 percent Puerto Rico’s population either didn’t vote or voted against statehood. The results of this vote only resemble the political desires of one single party.
Do you support Puerto Rico becoming a state? Share this story on social media and leave a comment below.