AP NEWS

Puerto Rico gov backs US-sponsored statehood referendum

November 23, 2018

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico’s governor says he would back a federally sponsored referendum that asks voters whether the U.S. territory should become a state.

Ricardo Rossello made the announcement on Friday after U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah asked the U.S. attorney general this week to certify such a referendum.

Puerto Rico has held five non-federal referendums, although none specifically asked people to simply vote yes or no on statehood.

In the most recent referendum, held last year, nearly half a million votes were cast for statehood, about 7,600 for free association or independence and nearly 6,700 for the current territorial status. But just 23 percent of voters turned out.

U.S. Congress has final say on any changes to Puerto Rico’s political status.

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