Did Puerto Rico Vote for Statehood?

Short answer: yes. You can download a PDF of the  Certified Official Results of the 2012 Plebiscite, which clearly shows that Puerto Rico voted for statehood. The government of Puerto Rico certified the results, the White House announced that it was a clear vote, and that’s that.

So why is Puerto Rico still a territory?

Now we need the long answer.

There were two questions on the ballot.

ballot-2012

The first question asked, “Do you agree that Puerto Rico should continue to have its present form of territorial status?” That is, do you want to continue to be a territory?

Here is what the voters said:

  • Yes: 46%
  • No: 54%

Like so many recent votes in the United States, slightly more than half of the people wanted one thing and slightly less than half wanted the other, but it is certainly clear that a majority of the voters did not want to continue to be a territory.

As a territory of the United States, Puerto Rico does not have the same rights and powers as a State, and the people of Puerto Rico, though citizens of the U.S., do not have the full rights of citizenship.

The answer to this ballot question is clear, but it’s not enough. If Puerto Rico does not remain a territory, it can be either a state or a nation. So there had to be a second question.

The second question asked voters to make a further decision.  “Irrespective of your answer to the first question, indicate which of the following non-territorial options you prefer. ” The non-territorial options were statehood, independence, and “sovereign free associate state,” which would be a nation in a relationship with the United States which either nation could end at any time.

These three options are the only options which are possible for Puerto Rico, under the Consistution of the United States. Voters overwhelmingly chose one of the options:

  • Statehood: 61%
  • Independence: 5%
  • Sovereign Free Associated State: 33%

61% of the voters chose statehood. Only 5% chose independence and only 33% chose the option of being a separate country with some kind of association with the U.S. There is no question that statehood got the majority of votes.

So why is there any question about whether Puerto Rico wants statehood?

The former government of Puerto Rico wanted another option, which is sometimes called “Enhanced Commonwealth” or “Developed Commonwealth.” This option would give Puerto Rico many of the rights of a state, including U.S. military protection, entitlements to financial support, and U.S. citizenship for people born in Puerto Rico, but would not make U.S. Federal laws apply in Puerto Rico.

The U.S. government has said many, many times that this is not a possibility. It is not possible under the U.S. Constitution and the U.S.will not agree to it. As recently as last year, the committee of the U.S. Senate which has oversight of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Department of Justice said that this option is “not viable” and urged Puerto Rico to stop trying to attain it.

The enhanced commonwealth was therefore not on the ballot.

Supporters of this idea believe that since voters did not have this option as one of their choices, the vote was incomplete or manipulated to favor statehood.

If this idea had been on the ballot and had won, as it has in some cases in the past, the U.S. government would have refused it, as they have in the past. Recently, some people in Puerto Rico have proposed that Puerto Rico should return to being a Spanish colony. That idea was also not on the ballot. There is no reason to put impossible things on the ballot.

In 2017, there was another referendum on statehood. Once again the voters of Puerto Rico voted for statehood. In fact, 97% of the votes cast were for statehood. Will Congress honor the vote this time?

En Español

39 Comments

Alex Davila

MY SISTER AND BROTHERS WE SEEK PROSPERTY FOR OUR FAMILIES FRIENDS AND THE PEOPLE OF OUR ISLAND LA BORIQUENA OPEN YOUR EYES, OVER 50 YEARS PUERTO RICO HAS HAD THE CHOICE INTO VOTING FOR STATE HOOD AND FOR 50 PLUS YEARS THE UNITED STATES HAS TURNED US DOWN ARE ISLAND HAS BEEN PUSHED AND SUPPRESSED SINCE 1896 WHEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES TOOK OVER THE ISLAND CHARLES HERBERT ALLEN BECAME THE GOVERNOR AND THE RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD BECAUSE OF THE AGRICULTURE’S AND SUGAR FIELDS WHICH BECAME DOMINO SUGAR BONDS WERE GIVEN TO PROPERTY OWNERS WHICH WAS EXCHANGED FOR FOOD WHEN CHARLES HERBERT ALLEN WAS FORCED TO RESIGN THE LARGEST RAIL RD IN THE CARRABIANS WAS CLOSED THE DOWN FALL OF AGRICULTURE AND THE CLOSING OF SUGAR PLANTAIONS THEN AMERICAN COMPANIES ENTERED THE ISLAND TAX FREE WHICH STOPED THE ECONOMY FROM GROWING AND REACHING IT’S PEAK , IM A AMERICAN AND PROUD BECAUSE OF MY BELIEVES AS A CHILD WHILE I WAS BEING RAISED AND THE ROCK AMERICA STANDS ON ,IF AMERICA HONORS IT’S HISTORY WHY ARE THEY ARE NOT HONORING THE STEPING STONE TO THE NEW WORLD PUERTO RICO WHY ARE THEY NO INDUSTRIES IN PIERTO RICO WHEN HUNDREDS OF THOUDANDS OF PEOPLE GAIN EMPLOYMENT END POVERTY ,HOMLESSNESS,CRIMES AND DRUGS, BECAUSE THEY WANT THE LAND OF PUERTO RICO NOT ALLOWING PUERTO RICANS TO OWN PROPERTY BECOME SUCCESSFUL BECOMING RICH BUILDING HOTELS CASINOS,HOMES CONDOS AND BUSINESS THEY WANT TO OWN IT ALL GREED MONEY THEN POWER IN THE WRONG HANDS I SAY TO YOU THE EDUCATION LEVEL IN PUERTO RICO HAS BEEN IN THE HIGHEST LEVEL IN THE NATION WE NEED TO KEEP PUSHING FORWARD ARE CHILDREN AND THE NEW GENERATION GIVING THEME A HIGHER EXPECTATION IN EDUCATION HOPE FAITH AS THEY EXPERIENCE THERE ANCESTORS PAIN AND SUFFERING AS THIER OWN THIER AMBITION, DESIRE, FOR THERE EDUCATIONAL GOALS WILL GIVE THEME THE DRIVE INTO ACCOMPLISHING THERE GOALS THEY WILL BECOME THE NEW GOVERNMENT,CONGRESSMAN,SENATORS,JUDGES,LAWYERS, AND MOST IMPORTANT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WE WILL BRANCH OUT THROUGHOUT THE NATION AS THE NEW GENERATION WILL CHANGE ARE NATION AS HOW WE WERE TOUGHT AS KIDS EVERY MAN IS EQUAL

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Tammy Guardiola Aviles

I voted for the statehood in the elección celebraded in Puerto Rico I want Puerto Rico to be the 51 state of the Nation

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HR 727 - Puerto Rico 51st

[…] is another important step toward statehood for Puerto Rico. After the 2012 referendum in which Puerto Rican voters chose statehood, the Federal Government set aside funds for a federally-sponsored plebiscite in Puerto Rico to […]

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John Rsmos

What’s stopping Congress is that big Corporate America, public opinion in the United States plus Wall St don’t want annexation. Congressional Bill HR 727 was introduced by Pierluisi in 2014 to start the Puerto Rico Statehood Admission Process but Congress once again ignored it. Puerto Rico will eventually choose independence which will give the island the necessary bilateral global powers so we can get out of this crisis.

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JF

YES FOR YEARS YOU DID NOT WANT TO BECOME A STATE AND VOTED AGAINST IT AND NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN DUE TO YOUR DEBT YOU WANT AMERICA’S STATEHOOD. HOW EASY AND CONVENIENT . GO INDEPENDENT AND LET US SEE HOW WELL YOU DO WITHOUT AMERICA AS YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO DO. GOOD LUCK

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John Ramos

Most of the conservative republicans don’t agree with annexation for Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico had it’s chance in becoming a state when the economy was doing well but that window of opportunity past the PNP by.

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Emmanuel Caceres

Those that seek statehood has no idea about freedom and have bwen brainwashed by the statehood welfare propaganda.Puerto Rico Has The Right To Greater Autonomy and the right to become a strong nation and the right to exist as an independent country

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Alex Davila

MY SISTER AND BROTHERS WE SEEK PROSPERTY FOR OUR FAMILIES FRIENDS AND THE PEOPLE OF OUR ISLAND LA BORIQUENA OPEN YOUR EYES, OVER 50 YEARS PUERTO RICO HAS HAD THE CHOICE INTO VOTING FOR STATE HOOD AND FOR 50 PLUS YEARS THE UNITED STATES HAS TURNED US DOWN ARE ISLAND HAS BEEN PUSHED AND SUPPRESSED SINCE 1896 WHEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES TOOK OVER THE ISLAND CHARLES HERBERT ALLEN BECAME THE GOVERNOR AND THE RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD BECAUSE OF THE AGRICULTURE’S AND SUGAR FIELDS WHICH BECAME DOMINO SUGAR BONDS WERE GIVEN TO PROPERTY OWNERS WHICH WAS EXCHANGED FOR FOOD WHEN CHARLES HERBERT ALLEN WAS FORCED TO RESIGN THE LARGEST RAIL RD IN THE CARRABIANS WAS CLOSED THE DOWN FALL OF AGRICULTURE AND THE CLOSING OF SUGAR PLANTAIONS THEN AMERICAN COMPANIES ENTERED THE ISLAND TAX FREE WHICH STOPED THE ECONOMY FROM GROWING AND REACHING IT’S PEAK , IM A AMERICAN AND PROUD BECAUSE OF MY BELIEVES AS A CHILD WHILE I WAS BEING RAISED AND THE ROCK AMERICA STANDS ON ,IF AMERICA HONORS IT’S HISTORY WHY ARE THEY ARE NOT HONORING THE STEPING STONE TO THE NEW WORLD PUERTO RICO WHY ARE THEY NO INDUSTRIES IN PIERTO RICO WHEN HUNDREDS OF THOUDANDS OF PEOPLE GAIN EMPLOYMENT END POVERTY ,HOMLESSNESS,CRIMES AND DRUGS, BECAUSE THEY WANT THE LAND OF PUERTO RICO NOT ALLOWING PUERTO RICANS TO OWN PROPERTY BECOME SUCCESSFUL BECOMING RICH BUILDING HOTELS CASINOS,HOMES CONDOS AND BUSINESS THEY WANT TO OWN IT ALL GREED MONEY THEN POWER IN THE WRONG HANDS I SAY TO YOU THE EDUCATION LEVEL IN PUERTO RICO HAS BEEN IN THE HIGHEST LEVEL IN THE NATION WE NEED TO KEEP PUSHING FORWARD ARE CHILDREN AND THE NEW GENERATION GIVING THEME A HIGHER EXPECTATION IN EDUCATION HOPE FAITH AS THEY EXPERIENCE THERE ANCESTORS PAIN AND SUFFERING AS THIER OWN THIER AMBITION, DESIRE, FOR THERE EDUCATIONAL GOALS WILL GIVE THEME THE DRIVE INTO ACCOMPLISHING THERE GOALS THEY WILL BECOME THE NEW GOVERNMENT,CONGRESSMAN,SENATORS,JUDGES,LAWYERS, AND MOST IMPORTANT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WE WILL BRANCH OUT THROUGHOUT THE NATION AS THE NEW GENERATION WILL CHANGE ARE NATION AS HOW WE WERE TOUGHT AS KIDS EVERY MAN IS EQUAL TODAY PUERYO RICANS ARE GENERALS, LIEUTENANTS,CAPTAINS,SERGENTS,SCIENTEST AND DIRECTORS FOR NASA WE FOUGHT AND GAVE ARE LIVES FOR ARE FAMILIES ,PUERTO RICO. AND THE AMERICAN DREAM MI QUENTE LOS CRITOS VIVEN DENTRO DE TI Y MI EL TIEMPO ES AHORA LA ESTRATEGIA ES LA EDUCACION PARA EL FUTURO DE TU FAMILIA LA NUEVA GENERACION Y EL FUTURO DE PUERTO RICO .

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Anonymous

Puerto Rico =51st state and also dose anyone think they should add the u.s vrigan islands on to puerto rico when they become a state

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El Libertador

No, statehood did not win. If 54% voted against the current status, how does that correlate to 61% supporting statehood? Because people don’t support statehood by majority. If you count the 500,000 people that did not vote for the second question, the majority of people opposed statehood.

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gmaeja

Sorry elections are not determined by the people who do not vote. Elections are determined by the people who vote.

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Jose

Was born in the beautiful island of puerto rico and at the age of 6 I remember the parasites that where finding their way into our belies and coming out you know how, there was no medicine back then and I am talking about 1955 and 1965 when things started to get better because the medicine that the feds sent to the island to prevent us from getting sick. I remember when the hospitals began to treat people and the island began to prosper, all because we have become part of the usa, but there has always been thief whiting the government of puerto rico, those who have that demonic spirit of the love for money. It is so sad to see the ignorant from the country side been brain wash by the populares and the green melons, the dreamers tell the innocent never to vote for statehood because the americans will take away their land, race their taxes and forced them to speak english only. Far be this lies from the true. The true is that wright know people in puerto rico are paying more taxes than any of the 50 states of the american nation and to top this the government is broke because the same government that suppose to take care of his people have robed his people and not only its people but the federal funds. I live in the usa and love to one day return to borinquen bella, As a minister i will pray that the people will become wise and vote in the new plebiscite for statehood so that the love, peace and brotherhood returns to the island of the people whom God loves so much.

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Ramon Rosario

Por siempre UNIDO ala gran corporation USA Puerto Rico state 51 now 🇵🇷🇵🇷🇺🇸🇺🇸

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Frank

Puerto Rico is over-populated and it is just an island. The government can not provide enough housing, jobs or money for the country. P.R’s best course is to accept statehood because it can not function on its own. It is being over-run, with unemployment, welfare, ill-education and low healthcare. Spanish is the primary language but it receives no support from the Spanish crown. The country is already globalized, the only issue is language retainment. In order to become a state, schools would have to teach in English. Preserving a culture is primary. Puerto Rico has a ton of valuables to trade & exchange with, such as rum, coffee, fruits, tourism, localization, history, vegetation, clean ocean water, fishing, medicines and large scale machine industries. Thus, the country hasn’t been optimized yet and still, it is open to prosperity, with better leaders in-mind. Procrasinating takes you nowhere.

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J DeJesus

I don’t want Puerto Rico to be a state, I am fed up of being
Own, its time for our independence. Vote for it.J

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John Alegria

You are either ignorant or dishonest. The Voters did not support Statehood. Only sixty-one percent (61%) of fifty-four percent (54%) supported Statehood.

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