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Puerto Rico votes to become a US state amid low turnout

The US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has voted to become the 51st state of the USA after a referendum was held at the weekend over Puerto Rico’s future. Voters rejected calls to maintain the status quo as well as the option for Puerto Rico to become a sovereign state.

Although the referendum passed with an overwhelming majority, only 23% of eligible voters participated in the referendum.

It will now be up to the US Congress to determine whether Puerto Rico becomes a state. Previous votes in Puerto Rico to become a state have been voted down by the US Congress which has the final say in the matter.

Opposition parties who call for independence boycotted the vote which serves as some explanation as to the low voter turnout.

If Puerto Rico became a state of the USA, it would take over from Mississippi as the poorest state.

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