The Commission certified that 834,191 of those participating voted for statehood. Do the math. I have divided 834,191 by 1,878,969 several times and with different calculators made in various countries and it always comes out the same: 44.4 percent. That is about two percentage points less than the 46.3 percent statehood vote in the 1993 plebiscite and materially lower than the 61 percent claimed.

So what is all this fuzz about 61% for statehood? They get to that number by excluding the 498,604 blank ballots when calculating the statehood proportion, a dishonest maneuver when you realize that in the immediately preceding phrase they included those ballots when boasting about voter participation. Of those "over 75 percent of registered voters that came to the polls," only 44.4 percent, not 61 percent, voted for statehood.

So many left their ballots blank because the island's commonwealth status was not included as an option, forcing its supporters to vote either for a second preference or to seek a means of protest. The pro-statehood majority that legislated this plebiscite devised an unusual two question vote that never put statehood in direct competition with commonwealth, thus concealing if commonwealth is preferred over statehood. Significantly, those who legislated this convoluted process were swept out of office on that same election day, and the pro-Commonwealth party that asked voters to leave the ballots blank won the governorship and both houses of the legislature.

Puerto Rico's Supreme Court recently stated that a blank ballot “expresses an inconformity with the presented proposals.” The Court feels that while we can never be certain what those votes are for, we can be pretty damn sure what they are against.

So this ends with a paradox. While the pro-statehood crowd refuses to accept that only 44.4 percent voted for statehood, they have to admit that 55.6 percent voted against it.

Hernández is mayoral secretary of Federal Affairs for the Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico.