Puerto Ricans favor statehood in 2012 vote - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Puerto Ricans vote in favor of statehood

Could San Juan (pictured) become a state capital city? Puerto Ricans voted to become a state in the 2012 election. (Source: TripAdvisor/wieserj) Could San Juan (pictured) become a state capital city? Puerto Ricans voted to become a state in the 2012 election. (Source: TripAdvisor/wieserj)

(RNN) – While all eyes were on the U.S. mainland during Election Day 2012, the small U.S. territory of Puerto Rico voted in favor of statehood, according to election results.

While the referendum was non-binding, it marks the first time Puerto Rico rejected its current commonwealth status.

The referendum was a two-part question. The first part asked voters if they wanted to change the island's current relationship status with U.S. or leave it as is – a commonwealth. In a 54-46 margin, Puerto Ricans voted to change their current status with the U.S. The second question asked what Puerto Ricans would prefer: statehood, greater autonomy or complete independence. With 93 percent of the votes counted, statehood received 61 percent of the vote. Greater autonomy received 33 percent and independence garnered only 5 percent, according to The Associated Press.

Puerto Rican officials plan to present this information to President Barack Obama and Congress, with the latter making the decision on whether or not to grant Puerto Rico statehood.

While Puerto Ricans are considered U.S. citizens, use U.S. currency and are able to serve in the military, they cannot vote in U.S. presidential elections and have only one non-voting delegate for representation.

Double-digit unemployment and a shrinking population are blamed for Puerto Ricans' change of heart on the statehood issue. Similar referendums in previous years were consistently rejected.

"I think people just came to realize that the current relationship simply does not create the number of jobs that we need," Puerto Rico Secretary of State Kenneth McClintock told CNN.

Despite the referendum's results, critics say it is not an accurate picture of what Puerto Ricans want because roughly one-third of the votes cast left the optional choice question blank. And in a strange twist, Puerto Ricans' new governor-elect is reportedly anti-statehood.

If Puerto Rico is granted statehood, the island would reportedly receive five seats in the House of Representatives and two seats in the Senate. It would also receive roughly an extra $20 billion a year in funds from the federal government, according to The Associate Press. Citizens of the would-be state would also start paying federal income taxes, and companies there would have to start paying corporate taxes.

Puerto Rico has been under American control since Spain conceded it to the U.S. following the Spanish-American War in 1898.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Pine Belt shoppers gearing up for Black Friday

    Pine Belt shoppers gearing up for Black Friday

    Sunday, November 19 2017 8:38 PM EST2017-11-20 01:38:20 GMT
    source:wdamsource:wdam

    Black Friday is November 25 and Pine Belt residents such as Emily Brumfield are getting ready for the big night. “I have several things on my list,” says Brumfield. “I have lots of tools. I have items such as guns for my boyfriend and my dad, cooking utensils, an iPod, electronics and all kinds of stuff.”

    More >>

    Black Friday is November 25 and Pine Belt residents such as Emily Brumfield are getting ready for the big night. “I have several things on my list,” says Brumfield. “I have lots of tools. I have items such as guns for my boyfriend and my dad, cooking utensils, an iPod, electronics and all kinds of stuff.”

    More >>
  • Lady Eagles fall to No. 7 Mississippi State

    Lady Eagles fall to No. 7 Mississippi State

    Sunday, November 19 2017 7:57 PM EST2017-11-20 00:57:47 GMT
    Photo credit: USMPhoto credit: USM

    From Special Reports The Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs showed Sunday exactly why they are considered one of the top 10 collegiate women’s basketball teams. MSU scored 31 points in the first and third quarters, including a 31-8 blitzing of the University of Southern Mississippi in the opening period and rolled to a 91-56 win at Humphrey Coliseum. “The way that Mississippi State shot the ball in the first I think they could win a national championship,” USM coach ...

    More >>

    From Special Reports The Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs showed Sunday exactly why they are considered one of the top 10 collegiate women’s basketball teams. MSU scored 31 points in the first and third quarters, including a 31-8 blitzing of the University of Southern Mississippi in the opening period and rolled to a 91-56 win at Humphrey Coliseum. “The way that Mississippi State shot the ball in the first I think they could win a national championship,” USM coach ...

    More >>
  • Laurel stuns Brookhaven to reach 5th consecutive South State title game

    Laurel stuns Brookhaven to reach 5th consecutive South State title game

    Sunday, November 19 2017 5:07 PM EST2017-11-19 22:07:40 GMT
    Source: WDAMSource: WDAM
    Friday night, the Laurel High School football team found itself in a situation that few thought the Golden Tornadoes could overcome successfully. Few, except a bunch of guys in cardinal and gold on the Laurel sideline. Down 22-14 in its Class 5A South State semifinal game with Brookhaven High School, Laurel scored twice in the final 90 seconds of the game, including Zias Perryman’s game-winning 9-yard touchdown run with 8 seconds to play as the Golden Tornadoes stunned the Pan...More >>
    Friday night, the Laurel High School football team found itself in a situation that few thought the Golden Tornadoes could overcome successfully. Few, except a bunch of guys in cardinal and gold on the Laurel sideline. Down 22-14 in its Class 5A South State semifinal game with Brookhaven High School, Laurel scored twice in the final 90 seconds of the game, including Zias Perryman’s game-winning 9-yard touchdown run with 8 seconds to play as the Golden Tornadoes stunned the Pan...More >>
Powered by Frankly