Puerto Rican voters back statehood

Puerto Rican voters on Sunday overwhelmingly supported making their Caribbean island the 51st state in the U.S. Preliminary results showed nearly half a million votes for statehood, 7,600 for free association/independence, and nearly 6,700 for keeping the island’s current status as a U.S. territory. Gov. Pedro Rosello declared that “Puerto Rico voted for statehood,” although turnout was just 23 percent, lower than in the last statehood referendum in 2012. Opposition activists said the nonbinding referendum was meaningless. Congress would have to approve any formal proposal to make Puerto Rico a state.

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