Puerto Ricos The Election Commission on Tuesday said it had found more than 100 briefcases containing countless ballots a week after U.S. territory was normalized. Election, Criticism and ridicule from voters who now question the authenticity of some race results.
The new chairman of the commission, Francisco Rosado, said the situation was based on what he said was that the briefcases were in a safe vault and that it was an underfunded and under-staffed administrative board responsible for counting record-breaking absentee and early votes.
“We have identified, to our regret, the chaos in the management of the materials in the tunnels,” he told a news conference. “Missing. Poorly managed. We have to accept it. “
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Rosado said he did not yet know how many votes were cast in the 126 briefcases, some with three ballots and others with 500 ballots. Officials initially said there were 182 briefcases but later revised the number.
“Every vote counts,” he said. “I must tell the people of Puerto Rico to trust the transparency of this process.”
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The discovery was the latest mistake of a commission that severely damaged the island’s primary affairs in August, with a second round of voting, an unprecedented situation that led to the commission’s previous president resigning a month later. The commission was criticized for taking the record four days after the November 3 general election to finalize the count of nearly 3 votes, announcing on Tuesday that it had found more briefcases. Traditionally, the commission issues the final vote.
Election Commissioner Roberto Evan Aponte told Puerto Rico’s Independence Party in a phone interview that he hoped all votes in the newly discovered suitcase could be counted by Thursday. He said the votes would affect races for the mayor of Culebra, a popular tourist island east of Puerto Rico. According to preliminary results, the mayoral candidate won by only two votes.
Aponte and other officials are blaming the new law passed by the government, Wanda Vazquez, in June, two months before the primary, which led to a number of changes, including easing restrictions on absentee and early voting and removing existing divisions and top positions. Election Commission, which led to the departure of long-serving officials. This year, Puerto Rico received more than 220,000 absentee and early votes, a record for officials drowning in paperwork.
Aponte warned that the commission’s ongoing problems were raising suspicions among voters.
“After this election, there should be a serious evaluation of how those votes are being conducted,” he said, referring to absentee and early votes.
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