Peter Lee Published on 17 January 2013
Category: English in the News
Jose A. Hernandez
The specific claim made by the 61 percent salesmen as published in a full-page ad the other day is that: "over 75 percent of registered voters came to the polls, and 61 percent voted for statehood." Fact-checking that is simple.
The (Puerto Rico Elections) Commission certified that 834,191 of those participating voted for statehood. Do the math. I have divided 834,191 by 1,878,969 several times and with different calculators made in various countries and it always comes out the same: 44.4 percent. That is about two percentage points less than the 46.3 percent statehood vote in the 1993 plebiscite and materially lower than the 61 percent claimed.
So many left their ballots blank because the island's commonwealth status was not included as an option, forcing its supporters to vote either for a second preference or to seek a means of protest. The pro-statehood majority that legislated this plebiscite devised an unusual two question vote that never put statehood in direct competition with commonwealth, thus concealing if commonwealth is preferred over statehood. Significantly, those who legislated this convoluted process were swept out of office on that same election day, and the pro-Commonwealth party that asked voters to leave the ballots blank won the governorship and both houses of the legislature.
So this ends with a paradox. While the pro-statehood crowd refuses to accept that only 44.4 percent voted for statehood, they have to admit that 55.6 percent voted against it.
Hernández is mayoral secretary of Federal Affairs for the Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico.
Read the full article here.
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