Puerto Rico voted overwhelmingly in favor of statehood on Sunday in a referendum that begins the steps toward sending representatives to Washington, D.C.
According to the Wall Street Journal, 97 percent voted for statehood, though turnout was only about 23 percent, therefore worrying some statehood advocates that opponents will be able to use it against them.
One and a half percent voted for independence from the United States, according to Decision Desk HQ, while 1.3 percent voted to keep the current status of a territory of the United States.
Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón touted Sunday’s vote for statehood, saying, “It is clear that the majority of Puerto Ricans want statehood.”
González-Colón appeared to nod at the turnout concerns in her statement:
“Elections are determined by those who vote, not those who don’t. It is clear that the majority of Puerto Ricans want statehood. That is why leaders of certain factions urged people not to vote, as they knew that the current territorial status and nationhood were going to lose badly.”
“I will not only lean on my colleagues and the leadership to hear the voices of these Americans, but more importantly, to respect the intent of the will of the voters. The time for Puerto Rico’s equality has come”, González-Colón added.
The Hill added:
“Puerto Rico will now put its “Tennessee plan” into action, meaning its governor will choose two senators and five representatives to go to Washington, D.C., to request statehood.
President Trump signaled during his presidential campaign that he is open to Puerto Rico officially becoming a state.
Puerto Rico previously voted in favor of becoming a state in 2012, but statehood opponents said the voter turnout was not high enough to accurately reflect will of the Puerto Rican people. Some fear that they will make the same case this time around.”