Puerto Rico has overwhelmingly chosen statehood in nonbinding referendum, governor says

Puerto Rico's governor says U.S. territory has overwhelmingly chosen statehood in nonbinding referendum.

Ricardo Rossello said Sunday that the island has sent a strong and clear message to U.S. Congress and the world.

Nearly half a million votes were cast for statehood, more than 7,600 for free association/independence and nearly 6,700 for independence. The participation rate was nearly 23 percent with roughly 2.26 million registered voters.

But many question the validity of the vote amid a low turnout and a boycott by several opposition parties. U.S. Congress has final say on any changes to the U.S. territory's political status, regardless of the referendum's final outcome.

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