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Elections Commission Releases Sample Ballot

The Puerto Rican Elections Commission has released its sample ballot for the plebiscite vote on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

The top of the ballot asks voters whether or not they “agree to maintain the current territorial political condition” of Puerto Rico and provides them with the bilingual response of “si/yes” or “no/no.”  There is a space next to each response for voters to note their choice.

The middle part of the ballot instructs voters to select one of three non territorial options they prefer irrespective of their answer to the first question.  The three options on the ballot are statehood, independence and free associated sovereign state.

The statehood option calls for “all American citizens resident in Puerto Rico [to] have equal rights, benefits and responsibilities as the rest of the citizens of the states of the Union, including the right to full representation in Congress and participation in presidential elections.”

The other two options – independence and free associated sovereign state – call for Puerto Rico to become a “sovereign nation.”  The difference between the two options is that under independence, Puerto Rico is a sovereign nation “totally independent for the United States,” and under free associated sovereign state, there remains a “voluntary political association, whose specific terms would be agreed between the United States and Puerto Rico as sovereign nations.”

The ballot ends with symbols identifying each of the three options and space for voters to mark their choice.

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