Esta página no está disponible en español.
Violation of US Citizens Voting Rights
Military and other absentee votes will not be counted by Puerto Ricos SEC
23 December 2004
José Luis Fernández: 787-525-5341
Rocío Vélez : 202-489-4088
On December 10th, 2004, the State Elections Commission (SEC) of Puerto Rico decided it would not count over 1,000 absentee ballots arriving within the time allowed by the Uniform Overseas Citizen Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA). The analysis is drawn from a November 29th SEC report. This notification came after receiving communication from the Absentee Vote Administrative Board on November 30th, complaining that absentee votes were not being counted. An administrative agreement of all state Electoral Commissioners shelved Federal law protecting and guaranteeing voting rights of all US citizens. This same Commission, in Federal Court, admitted to Judge Daniel Domínguez that they did not send the ballots 30 days before the elections, as required by the same act.
Given the lack of national political importance of the local election, no Federal Agency has effectively monitored the proceedings, thus establishing a different class of American citizens in Puerto Rico. The U.S. Attorneys Office did appoint an attorney to review the process, but there has been no action in spite of repeated news stories on the failure of the local Elections Commission to protect the rights of absentee voters.
Some of the absentee voters are local soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Not only are they deprived of voting for their Commander-in-Chief because of residence in Puerto Rico, but the local processes and the lassitude of Federal officials have allowed some of their votes to be discarded in spite of the statutes of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Vote Act (UOCAVA).
Share this information with all groups and persons that intervene in preserving civil and voting rights of American citizens.
APRS Board of Directors