A solid majority of Puerto Ricans have voted to end the island’s 114-year old relationship as a territory of the United States and become the nation’s 51st state. When asked whether Puerto Rico should “continue to have its present form of territorial status,” 54% of all voters (934,238 people) answered “no” while only 46% (796,007) responded “yes.”
In response to the plebiscite ballot’s second question, regarding which non-territorial option Puerto Ricans would prefer, 802,179 voters supported statehood (61.2 %), 436,997 voters selected sovereign free association (33.3%), and 72,551 voters chose independence (5.53%).
In other Puerto Rican election news, Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi has declared victory over challenger Rafael Cox Alomar. With over 96% of the votes counted, the Puerto Rico elections commission (CEE) is reporting that Pierluisi won his re-election 48% to 47% (876,901 votes to 857,528 votes). Other candidates trailed Pierluisi and Cox Alomar: Juan Manuel Mercado (Independence Party/PIP) had 37,114 votes (2.05%), Félix Córdova Iturregui (PPT) received 12,520 votes (0.69%), María de Lourdes Guzmán (MUS) won 11,099 votes (.61%), and Sadiasept Guillont had 5,300 (.29%).
Incumbent Governor Luis Fortuno (PNP) lost his bid for re-election by roughly 15,000 votes, and he conceded to Governor-elect Alejandro García Padilla this morning. According to the CEE, Fortuno had 858,361 votes (47.05%) compared to Alejandro García Padilla’s (PDP) 873,072 votes (47.85%). Other candidates followed: Juan Dalmau Ramírez (Independence/PIP) has 46,112 votes (2.53%), Rafael Bernabe (PPT) has 17,545 votes (.96%), Arturo Hernández (MUS) has 10,154 votes (.56%) and Rogelio Figueroa has 6,346 votes (.35%).