Published April 10, 2013
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – 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.
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.