Share
News

Over 100 Briefcases Full of 'Misplaced' Ballots Unearthed in Puerto Rico

Share

Puerto Rico’s elections commission said Tuesday that it has discovered more than 100 briefcases containing uncounted ballots a week after the U.S. territory held its general election, drawing criticism and scorn from voters who now question the validity of the outcomes of certain races.

Francisco Rosado, the commission’s new president, said the briefcases were found in a secured vault and blamed the situation on what he said was an underfunded and understaffed administrative board responsible for counting a record number of absentee and early votes.

“We’ve identified, much to our regret, a disorganization in the handling of material in the vaults,” he said at a news conference. “Misplaced. Poorly organized. We have to admit that.”

Rosado said he didn’t know yet how many votes are in the 126 briefcases, noting some contained three ballots and others 500 ballots.

“Every vote will be counted,” he said. “I have to tell the people of Puerto Rico to trust the transparency of the process.”

Trending:
Country Star John Rich Releases Bible-Inspired 'Revelation': 'There's Never Been a Song Like This Song'

The discovery is the latest misstep for a commission that botched the island’s primaries in August so badly that a second round of voting was held, an unprecedented situation that led to the commission’s previous president to resign a month later.

Then the commission was criticized for taking a record four days after the Nov. 3 general election to finalize counting votes, only to announce on Tuesday that it had discovered more briefcases.

Traditionally, the commission releases final vote counts the night of the election.

Roberto Iván Aponte, electoral commissioner for Puerto Rico’s Independence Party, said in a phone interview that he expects all votes inside the newly discovered suitcases to be counted by Thursday at the latest.

Do you think widespread mail-in voting is to blame for Puerto Rico's election woes?

He said those votes could affect races like the one for mayor of Culebra, a popular tourist island just east of Puerto Rico. The mayor-elect won by only two votes, according to preliminary results.

Aponte and other officials blame the ongoing problems on a new law that Gov. Wanda Vázquez approved in June just two months before the primary that relaxed restrictions for absentee and early voting.

This year, Puerto Rico received more than 220,000 absentee and early votes, a record for officials who have been overwhelmed by the paperwork.

Aponte warned that the commission’s ongoing problems is sowing doubt among voters.

“After these elections, there has to be a serious evaluation of how those votes will be handled,” he said, referring to absentee and early votes.

Related:
Liberal Judge Changes Election Law in Battleground State Only Months Before Presidential Election

[jwplayer LqvIeLJW]

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , , , ,
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation