Puerto Rico held a vote on Sunday to determine if its citizens were in support of becoming a U.S. state.
The voting on Sunday saw 97% of voters agree that Puerto Rico should become the next state to join the United States. Governor Ricardo Rosselló is planning to use the positive results from the election to try and convince Congress to make the U.S. Territory into a state.
Rosselló is likely going to have a tough fight on his hands at convincing Congress to make Puerto Rico a state. The first problem is the low voter turnout. Only 23% of the population living on the island actually showed up to vote yesterday.
Other problems that Rosselló will likely face when pushing for statehood include Puerto Rico’s massive debt and its high unemployment rate. The U.S. Territory is carrying $70 billion in debt, has an 11.5% unemployment rate and is currently going through a recession. All of this comes together to make Rosselló’s argument for it becoming a state grim, reports CNNMoney.
“In any democracy, the expressed will of the majority that participates in the electoral processes always prevails,” Rossello said in a statement obtained by The Washington Post. “It would be highly contradictory for Washington to demand democracy in other parts of the world, and not respond to the legitimate right to self-determination that was exercised today in the American territory of Puerto Rico.”
While those that voted claim the U.S. Territory is ready to become a U.S. state, not everyone sees it that way. The party in Puerto Rico that is against becoming a state claims that citizens boycotted the vote by not taking part in it.
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