Puerto Ricans on Sunday June 11,2017 voted overwhelmingly in favor of becoming America’s 51st state
Around 97 percent of those casting ballots opted in favor of statehood, according to late returns. But only about 500,000 Puerto Ricans — about 23 percent of the electorate — voted.
The non-binding vote meant that the US Congress would still have to agree to make the island a state — and American lawmakers are unlikely to comply given the isle is crippled with debt and unemployment
US Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), who was born in Puerto Rico, dismissed the process as a “dog and pony show” and said the low turnout means the results can’t be trusted.
“This plebiscite failed to live up to that standard, and the deck was stacked throughout the process,’’ she said in a statement.
“With members of two of the three major political parties in Puerto Rico boycotting the vote, we can safely assume the results do not even remotely reflect public sentiment on the Island.”
Puerto Rico's `s two main opposition parties boycotted the vote, which gave Puerto Ricans three options: becoming a U.S. state; remaining a territory; or becoming an independent nation, with or without some continuing political association with the United States.
About 1.3 million Puerto Ricans cast ballots in the last referendum in 2012, which also saw a majority support for statehood