Puerto Rico votes narrowly in favor of statehood

Kathryn Krawczyk
·1 min read

Puerto Rico has once again voted to become a state. What happens next is up to Congress.

With 95 percent of the island's vote in, 52 percent of Puerto Rico's voters said they'd like to be admitted to the U.S. as a state, while 48 percent disagreed. But with Republicans likely retaining control of the Senate, the non-binding referendum likely won't make it to shore.

Puerto Rico has voted twice before in the past decade to become a statehood, though 2017's vote had a miniscule 23 percent turnout because opposers boycotted the vote. Just over half of voters showed up this year to vote on statehood and the island's next governor; A pro-statehood candidate has a narrow lead as votes are still being counted.

The statehood vote will now be up for Congress to act upon. But Republicans are poised to keep control of the Senate and don't support what they see as the likely creation of two new Democratic Senate seats. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) explicitly warned Democrats would grant Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., statehood when campaigning this fall, even though the Republican National Committee's platform has supported Puerto Rican statehood in the past.

More stories from theweek.com
Trump and his aides are reportedly 'very anxious' Fox News will call Pennsylvania, clinching Biden victory
Fox News brings Trump to his knees
The day the world stopped paying attention to Donald Trump