US seeks to fund new Puerto Rico status plebiscite

AP News
Posted: Apr 10, 2013 6:50 PM

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The White House is seeking $2.5 million to fund a status vote for the first time in Puerto Rico's history.

The money would go to the local elections commission for an education campaign and a plebiscite to resolve the island's political status, with the U.S. Attorney General having to approve the ballot beforehand.

Wednesday's announcement comes five months after Puerto Rico issued a two-part referendum whose results are still being debated. In the first question, 54 percent of voters said they were not content with the commonwealth status.

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The second question asked voters to choose a status. Of the approximately 1.3 million voters who made a choice, nearly 800,000 supported statehood. Some 437,000 backed sovereign free association and 72,560 chose independence. However, nearly 500,000 left that question blank.