Should Puerto Rico Become the 51st State? Follow the Vote As It Comes In.

Voters tell Congress what they want for their future.

Ricardo Arduengo/Zuma

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Puerto Ricans head to the polls Sunday for a plebiscite intended to chart a course for the island’s future. At issue is whether voters favor beginning the process of asking the US Congress to allow Puerto Rico to become an actual state; if voters want to ask for greater independence; or if voters want to carry on with the current colonial relationship that exists today.

To many, the political status of Puerto Rico is at the heart of the territory’s ongoing debt crisis; it’s facing more than $120 billion in outstanding debt and pension obligations. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló was elected last fall on a pro-statehood platform, saying in his inaugural address in January that “there is no way to overcome Puerto Rico’s crisis given its colonial condition.”

Many on the island plan to boycott the election, arguing that since Puerto Rico cannot compel Congress to comply with voters’ wishes, it’s meaningless. “They are spending $8 millionw holding this vote, and yet will the US Congress take any notice of it? No, they won’t,” Juan Collazo, 22, told the Guardian. “This is just another attempt to divide and conquer us.”

The polls close at 3 p.m. EDT. Follow the election results here, courtesy of the Decision Desk HQ

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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