With 100% of votes counted, Puerto Rico’s 2020 status vote has a clear outcome: statehood won.
623,053, or 52.34%, of registered voters said “yes” to statehood.
567,346, or 47.66%, voted “no.”
Puerto Rico Resident CommissionerJenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, the U.S. territory’s sole representative in Congress, issued this statement on the referendum:
“The clearest message from yesterday’s plebiscite vote in Puerto Rico was that a majority of Puerto Ricans — Americans by birth — want equality, a fully democratic form of government, and permanence within the United States that can be granted only through statehood.“The choice was clear. Voters rejected any other status proposal: they rejected the option to remain a possession of the U.S. — without votes in the government that makes our national laws and that makes our most important local laws; they rejected the option to remain an unincorporated territory — treated differently than a State, overall, worse; they rejected the option to become a purely independent nation, whether from the U.S. or in an association with the U.S. that either nation could end; and they rejected the ‘commonwealth status’ proposal that the Federal government has repeatedly said is impossible for constitutional and other reasons.“I am the highest individual vote-getter in the election by far but statehood got nearly 131,000 more votes than I did. Support for statehood far exceeds that for any party or individual.“That a majority of Puerto Ricans want equality within their nation is not new. Majorities specifically voted against territory status and for statehood in 2012 – with all of the possible options available in the plebiscite – and for statehood in 2017 with all of the possible options on the ballot. But boycotts raised questions about whether a majority of Puerto Ricans wanted statehood. Yesterday clearly answered that a majority does.
Next steps for statehood
Congress has the power to admit Puerto Rico as a state at any time by a simple majority vote. Over the years, Congress has often said that Puerto Rico is unsure about statehood, or that there must be a process of self-determination to be sure of the will of the people of Puerto Rico.
The 2020 plebiscite, which resulted in a choice for statehood like the other two plebiscites which have taken place in the 21st century, was an exercise of self-determination that confirms a local choice for statehood.
Click here to see the official results of the 2017 plebiscite.
Click here to see the official results of the 2012 plebiscite.