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NPP Will Count Mixed Votes, But Record Their Objection… Gracia Called To Testify… Recount Begins… 2010: Hispanic Spending… Courts Order Recount… Jockey Medina Cited…Nieves Chides Efforts To Spur "Crisis Of Confidence"… PIP Reinscription Suit Reconsidered… Infant Mortality Rate Drops… Proof Of How Mixed Votes Counted Sought… Hofstra Builds On Masa

NPP Will Count Mixed Votes, But Record Their Objection

November 22, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Election officials from the New Progressive Party (NPP) will award the mixed votes in the recount, as ordered by the Supreme Court, but they are recording their objections and separating the ballots as ordered by the federal court.

NPP election commissioner Thomas Rivera Schatz said he is "recording an objection to the count" of each mixed vote.

"The ballots that are being awarded, are being awarded with the objection so that if some day the court decides they are invalid, as they are, they will be taken out," he said.

An after saying that "the Supreme Court acted without jurisdiction," in the litigation about the mixed vote, he said the party is confident the federal courts will declare the state ballots invalid that have a mark under the Puerto Rican Independence Party and two marks beside the PDP candidates for governor and resident commissioner.

President Of SEC Is Called To Testify

November 22, 2004
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ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Federal Judge Daniel Domínguez demanded Monday that the president of the State Elections Commission, Aurelio Gracia, and the election commissioners of the three parties appear to testify in his courtroom as to how they will segregate and allocate the state ballots with mixed votes.

Dominguez said that he has to know "if there is uniformity" in the way they will be counting the mixed votes, because only as he can have jurisdiction over the request of the NPP to nullify these votes as covered in the case of Bush vs. Gore, which in 2000 imposed the rule of "one man, one vote."

Meanwhile, the director of the vote review by the SEC, Benicio Carmona, was in court Monday morning as a witness for the defendants.

Recount Begins Monday

November 22, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — The president of the State Election Commission, Aurelio Gracia, and the electoral commissioners of the three parties agreed unanimously that the recount of all votes issued Nov. 2 will begin Monday afternoon with the review of Precinct 1 in San Juan.

Gracia said the work done since Nov. 8 on the vote review — in which only the register or summary of each electoral college is reviewed — "is not lost" and "was given in compliance with the law."

According to newspaper reports, Gracia said that during Monday morning he will make adjustments to comply with the separate recount orders issued Saturday by the Supreme Court and the Federal District Court in San Juan.

He said that during the recount they will open all the bags of votes from the electoral colleges, even when the bags already have passed through the recount process in cases in which there were discrepancies with the registers.

2010: Hispanic Spending

Sentinel Staff Writer

November 20, 2004
Copyright © 2004
THE ORLANDO SENTINEL. All rights reserved. 

Personal income for Hispanic households will top $670 billion by 2010. That's when the number of households will hit 13.5 million, up from less than 6 million in 1990.

Country of origin, Expected earnings

Mexico $409 billion

Central and South America $107 billion

Puerto Rico $65 billion

Cuba $32 billion

Spain, Dominican Republic and others $56 billion

Recount Ordered In Puerto Rico Election


November 20, 2004
Copyright © 2004
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Puerto Rico's two highest courts ordered election authorities in separate rulings Saturday to immediately begin recounting votes cast in the extremely tight Nov. 2 gubernatorial elections.

The recounts were ordered by the U.S. District Court and the Puerto Rico Supreme Court.

U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Dominguez decided in favor of pro-statehood candidate Pedro Rossello's lawsuit to force an immediate recount of preliminary election results, which showed him narrowly losing to Anibal Acevedo Vila, who supports Puerto Rico maintaining its current status as a U.S. commonwealth.

The Supreme Court ruling came in a case filed by four private citizens.

The courts ordered the State Elections Commission to start recounting ballots immediately rather than wait for the outcome of a lengthy review of vote tallies from more than 7,000 precincts.

The Supreme Court also ruled that thousands of disputed votes for Acevedo Vila should be counted as valid.

The dispute concerns ballots in which voters marked the symbol for the Independence Party and the space next to the names of Acevedo Vila and Roberto Prats, the Popular Democratic candidate for Puerto Rico's nonvoting delegate to the U.S. Congress.

Acevedo Vila's supporters argue that Puerto Rican electoral law allows citizens to cast ``mixed votes'' to support for keeping the Independence Party registered while also supporting candidates from other parties.

The federal court has not ruled on Rossello's request to disregard those votes because, he argues, they make it impossible to discern voter intent. His attorney, William Sherman, claimed there could be as many as 20,000 ``mixed votes.''

Medina, Jockey Of The Month


November 21, 2004
Copyright © 2004
THE MIAMI HERALD. All rights reserved. 

Luis Medina was named Calder's ''Jockey of the Month'' for November.

Medina, 19, is from Carolina, Puerto Rico, and is the leading apprentice rider with a 5-pound bug.

His record at the Tropical meet is 85-14-12-11.

Archbishop Chides Efforts To Spur "Crisis Of Confidence"

November 19, 2004
Copyright © 2004
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — The Archbishop of San Juan, Roberto González Nieves, on Friday denounced attempts by some political leaders to "provoke a crisis of confidence" with the tone of their statements and lack of respect for the State Elections Commission.

Although he did not mention names, the religious leaders said to interpret his words as a disapproval of the lawsuit filed against the SEC before the electoral group finishes the vote review is "going down the right path."

"I think at these times it is not appropriate to add fuel to the fire and provoke a crisis of confidence in our democratic system," he said at a press conference at the "Quinto Encuentro Latinoamericano y del Caribe de Pastoral Penitenciaria."

"My personal and most respectful request to the competent authorities of the State Elections Commission is to finish the vote review and the recount as soon as possible. I understand this is the wish of all our people," he said.

Judge Will Reconsider PIP Reinscription Suit

November 19, 2004
Copyright © 2004
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — The lawsuit initiated by the Civil Action Party (CAP) and the Puerto Ricans for Puerto Rico (PPR) to stop the process of reinscription by the Puerto Rican Independence Party will be reconsidered by Judge Carlos Dávila Vélez, who had rejected it Tuesday.

The judge accepted the groups’ motion to reconsider, after Tuesday warning them that they would wear out their administrative resources of the State Elections Commission.

The press reported that CAP president Nelson Rosario has proposed adding the Estado Libre Asociado as a plaintiff because "the court thinks it is an essential part as a plaintiff."

The CAP and the PPR asked the court that the PIP be certified by the Election Commission as a non-inscripted party after the elections, that they make a list of the team they have and begin their reinscription in January, according to the Regulations for the Inscription of Parties by Petition.

The PIP began the reinscription process after a preliminary certification from the SEC said they could lose their franchise due to not obtaining 3 percent of the votes in the Nov. 2 election.

Puerto Rico’s Infant Mortality Rate Drops

November 19, 2004
Copyright © 2004
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — A study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that the infant mortality rate on Puerto Rico was reduced during the first part of 2004, however the island still is among the top 12 federal jurisdictions with the highest number of deaths among children under 1 year.

Between June 2003 and May 2004, it was found that 394 infant deaths occurred here, a figure that represents a rate of 7.8 percent for each 1,000 births. Between June 2002 and May 2003, the total number of deaths of children under one year was 492, a rate of 9.4 percent.

According to newspaper reports, infant deaths on the island have been reduced, but it still is the highest in the United States.

The preliminary report from the Centers for Disease Control also said that the total number of marriages and divorces was reduced in Puerto Rico during the first five months of 2004.

From January to May, there were 8,795 marriages on the island, almost 1,000 less that for the same period in 2003, when there were 9,753. Similarly, recorded divorces during the first five months of 2004 totaled 6,543, almost 2,000 less than in the same period in 2003, when there were 8,505.

Judge Wants Proof Of How Mixed Votes Will Be Counted

November 19, 2004
Copyright © 2004
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Federal Judge Daniel Dominguez warned the New Progressive Party that he will not grant an injunction as they requested if they do not present direct proof of how the controversial mixed votes were allocated and counted.

Although it has not been decided if the federal court has jurisdiction in this case, Dominguez made a decision at the end of the hearing Thursday that a recount could be necessary in order to know if there was uniformity in how the mixed votes were counted, how many voters of this type there are and where they are.

The federal judge denied the request for dismissal made in open court by lawyers for the government.

The hearing will continue Friday with the testimony of the president of the State Election Commission, Aurelio Gracia.

Dominguez said, as well, that he will not issue an option for the local law to be declared unconstitutional which allowed the process of transition to begin for the government and the gubernatorial candidate certified with the highest number of votes up till now, Anibal Acevedo Vila.

Hofstra Builds On Masa


November 18, 2004
Copyright © 2004
Newsday. All rights reserved. 

Jon Masa spent a year away from Hofstra while making an unsuccessful attempt to wrestle for Puerto Rico in the Olympics. The improvement 10-year coach Tom Ryan has noticed most about Masa doesn't have anything to do with the 149-pounder's ability.

"He is more mature and he is more focused," Ryan said. "There is a stronger belief with him. I know he has gotten better, but it is more in attitude. He is more prepared to work hard on a more frequent basis."

The redshirt junior's experience won't hurt in the lineup either. Masa, a 2000 Long Beach graduate, returns after an Olympic waiver last season and a seventh-place finish at 149 pounds in 2003.

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