With more than 95% of votes counted, Puerto Rico voters have chosen statehood in yesterday’s plebiscite vote.
The ballot question was, “Should Puerto Rico be immediately admitted into the Union as a state?” Voters had two straightforward options in response: “Yes” and “No.”
592,242 voters (52.19%) chose “Yes.”
“No” votes totaled 542,634 (47.81% of the total vote).
The total number of “yes” votes on Tuesday’s ballot exceeded the number of votes cast in favor of statehood in the 2017 plebiscite by over 80,000. In the 2017 vote, even though 97% of voters chose statehood, the total number of pro-statehood votes was only 508,862.
Not only did the statehood option get more votes in 2020 than in 2017, but statehood received more votes than any individual up for election in 2020.
“I am the highest individual vote-getter in the election by far,” said Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez Colon, “but statehood got nearly 131,000 more votes than I did.”
“Support for statehood far exceeds that for any party or individual,” she emphasized in a press release.
Statehood yes or no
Puerto Rico has held five previous status plebiscites. In 2012 and 2017, statehood was on the ballot and received the majority of votes. Congress alone, however, has the power to admit Puerto Rico as a state, and Congress did not take action on those votes. Many members of Congress took the position that the structure of the previous plebiscite ballots was confusing.
Yesterday’s vote was intended to provide clarity, with only two possible choices: yes for statehood, or no on statehood.
Further support for statehood
Both of the territory’s winning representatives also support statehood:
- Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, the incumbent Resident Commissioner, won with 461,401 votes, or 40.47%.
- Pedro Pierluisi, running for Governor of Puerto Rico, received 380,704 votes, or 32.40%, which places him in the lead in a multi-candidate race.
Gonzalez-Colon is a Republican and Pierluisi is a Democrat.
These early results must still receive confirmation