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Puerto Rico Votes for U.S. Statehood
November 11, 2012

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Voters in Puerto Rico have voiced their approval for American statehood.

In a special election, a full 65 percent of those voting preferred full statehood. Further, 54 percent voted against the status quo, which is a U.S. territory that has some rights and representation in the U.S. government.

Puerto Rico, which has a population of about 4 million, became a U.S. territory in 1898, as a result of the end of the Spanish-American War. Puerto Rico residents became U.S. citizens in 1917, but they don't have voting rights in U.S. elections or representation in the U.S. Senate. They can, however, vote for one person to be a non-voting part of the House of Representatives.

Puerto Rico residents currently do not pay U.S. income tax.

The United States Congress would have to approve a proposal making Puerto Rico the 51st state. Alaska and Hawaii, the 49th and 50th states, respectively, entered the Union in 1959.

It was the fourth national referendum on U.S. statehood, with majorities voting it down in 1967, 1993, and 1998.







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