However, a few lobbyists are trying to make Puerto Rico a state, and they have concocted a deceitful scheme to achieve their goal. This plan calls for Congress to pass legislation requiring two referenda in Puerto Rico. The wording of the proposed ballots is rigged in a very dishonest way. The first referendum would require voters to vote yes-or-no on the current political status. If the current status doesn't win a majority, there will be a second referendum. But in round two, voters will have only two choices.* They will be forced to choose between statehood or full independence and not have any chance to vote for the present commonwealth status. In order words, the two ballots are rigged to produce a result in favor of statehood, thus overriding the wishes of both Americans and of Puerto Ricans who want to maintain the current commonwealth status.
Puerto Ricans have made it clear that they like their current status with the United States. That should not be changed by forcing them to vote in a rigged election. The bill now in Congress should be defeated.
*Editor's Note: After this commentary was recorded, the House passed the Foxx amendment to the Puerto Rico bill (H.R. 2499), which gives Puerto Ricans four options (including commonwealth) in the second referendum.
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Further Reading: Puerto Rico Statehood