SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – Puerto Rico’s governor says the U.S. territory has overwhelmingly chosen statehood in a non-binding referendum.
Ricardo Rossello said Sunday that the island has sent a strong and clear message to U.S. Congress and the world. Nearly half a million votes were cast for statehood, more than 7,600 for free association/independence and nearly 6,700 for independence.
The participation rate was nearly 23 percent with roughly 2.26 million registered voters. But many question the validity of the vote amid a low turnout and a boycott by several opposition parties.
U.S. Congress has final say on any changes to the U.S. territory’s political status, regardless of the referendum’s final outcome.