Puerto Ricans vote Nov. 6 to determine whether or not the United States territory should become the 51st state.
Residents of the Caribbean territory will be presented with the option to keep Puerto Rico’s status as a U.S. territory.
If residents do not want to remain a territory, they have three options: independence, statehood, or a free and sovereign associated territory, according to The Associated Press.
Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens; however, they do not have federal income tax, they have no voting representation in Congress, and they cannot vote for president—but they can serve in the military. Congress and the executive branch have the ultimate say in providing them defense, social services, and foreign policy.
“We don’t want to continue being a colony. We want the full rights that we’re entitled to as American citizens,” Thomas Rivera Schatz, president of Puerto Rico’s Senate, told AP.
Over the past several decades, there have been similar votes for statehood in Puerto Rico, but all have been inconclusive.
In 1998, more than 50 percent of voters in Puerto Rico chose “none of the above” on what their status preference would be, reported Reuters.
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 19 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.