Puerto Ricans vote for statehood in controversial referendum

Posted: Updated:
Ninety-seven percent of voters in Puerto Rico approved a measure Sunday to try and become the 51st state, but the results come from a disputed referendum that saw only 23 percent of eligible voters turn out. Ninety-seven percent of voters in Puerto Rico approved a measure Sunday to try and become the 51st state, but the results come from a disputed referendum that saw only 23 percent of eligible voters turn out.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -

Ninety-seven percent of voters in Puerto Rico approved a measure Sunday to try and become the 51st state, but the results come from a disputed referendum that saw only 23 percent of eligible voters turn out.

Maria Scharron Del Rio, a professor at Brooklyn College, spoke with News 12 from Puerto Rico.

She says a normal election there sees between 60 and 80 percent of eligible voters at the polls.

"Twenty-two to 23 percent turnout is ridiculous," she says. "Most people went to the beach, stayed at home or took to social media to express their discontent."

Del Rio says many Puerto Ricans saw the vote as just a show. 

"The majority of people were not involved," she says, adding that the ballots were crafted without input from opposition political parties.

Ultimately, the decision is up to Congress, but Puerto Rico's governor says he will push for lawmakers to accept the island's statehood.

  • Brooklyn PoliticsPoliticsMore>>

  • City Council candidates hold forum to discuss issues

    City Council candidates hold forum to discuss issues

    Tuesday, November 28 2017 9:27 PM EST2017-11-29 02:27:38 GMT
    Candidates running for City Council speaker talked about the city's most important issues at a public forum Tuesday night.Candidates running for City Council speaker talked about the city's most important issues at a public forum Tuesday night.

    Candidates running for City Council speaker talked about the city's most important issues at a public forum Tuesday night.

    Candidates running for City Council speaker talked about the city's most important issues at a public forum Tuesday night.

  • City Council votes to crack down on hit-and-run drivers

    City Council votes to crack down on hit-and-run drivers

    Thursday, November 16 2017 8:22 PM EST2017-11-17 01:22:03 GMT
    City Council passed a bill to crack down on hit-and-run drivers Thursday, voting to create an alert system that will send out messages within 12 hours of a death or serious injury in such a crash.City Council passed a bill to crack down on hit-and-run drivers Thursday, voting to create an alert system that will send out messages within 12 hours of a death or serious injury in such a crash.

    City Council passed a bill to crack down on hit-and-run drivers Thursday, voting to create an alert system that will send out messages within 12 hours of a death or serious injury in such a crash. 

    City Council passed a bill to crack down on hit-and-run drivers Thursday, voting to create an alert system that will send out messages within 12 hours of a death or serious injury in such a crash. 

  • Immigrant advocates win minor DACA deadline dispute

    Immigrant advocates win minor DACA deadline dispute

    Thursday, November 16 2017 7:26 PM EST2017-11-17 00:26:49 GMT
    Some beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA, won a minor victory this week with the chance to refile their applications to stay in the United States.Some beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA, won a minor victory this week with the chance to refile their applications to stay in the United States.

    Some beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA, won a minor victory this week with the chance to refile their applications to stay in the United States.

    Some beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA, won a minor victory this week with the chance to refile their applications to stay in the United States.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."