Puerto Rico holds second round of voting after primary marred by missing ballots
More than half of voting precincts in Puerto Rico reopened for a second round of voting on Sunday following a chaotic first round earlier this month.
The Associated Press reported that the voting, which took place in more than 60 of the island territory’s 110 precincts, was largely free of issues save for one precinct that opened several hours late after a number of volunteers quit Saturday night.
“Good God, I hope my vote counts,” one 72-year-old voter told the AP as she stood in line at the precinct where voting was delayed. “If they only knew about our sacrifice.”
Voting was suspended in numerous precincts during the Aug. 9 primary after many centers failed to receive ballots on time or at all, resulting in many standing for hours in long lines before leaving without casting a ballot.
Numerous calls have been made from politicians in both of the territory’s major political parties for the resignation of Puerto Rico’s election commission, Juan Ernesto Dávila, who has refused to step down while the primary process is ongoing.
“What happened today by the State Elections Commission is unprecedented and there is no excuse that can support it,” the territory’s governor, Wanda Vázquez, tweeted following the suspension of voting at many precincts according to a translation.
“This matter must be addressed immediately and the alternatives analyzed so that the constitutional right of all the voters of the precincts that have not yet left the trucks is absolutely guaranteed so that they can exercise their vote in the law primaries,” she added.
Vázquez, a member of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party, is running for reelection and faces a former congressional representative for Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi, in her primary on Sunday while three candidates including San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz are running for the gubernatorial nomination of the Popular Democratic Party.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.