San Juan – Judge Anthony Cuevas Ramos ruled on Tuesday that there are no ballots to be adjudicated in the controversy over the Guánica mayoralty between the direct nominee Edgardo Cruz Vélez and Ismael “Titi” Rodríguez.
Cuevas Ramos rejected a request from Cruz Vélez that required the EEC to include an additional 22 votes for his candidacy.
The challenge to the mayor’s certification issued by the EEC in favor of Rodríguez Ramos has not yet been resolved in court.
Rodríguez had about 2,386 votes according to the final results of the general vote. Cruz Vélez obtained 2,411 votes, a difference of 27 votes.
“According to the evidence presented in the motions of both parties, there are no unallocated ballots. From these annexes the necessary tract arises that establishes the route taken by the 22 ballots to their final destination in the Administrative Board of Absentee and Early Voting (JAVAA) and it is established that these were awarded. For this purpose, among the documents attached by the parties, the Certification of January 11, 2021 was attached, which clearly establishes that the 22 ballots of the 048 precinct were awarded according to the award rules. These were referred by the Director of the Scrutiny of unit 75 to JAVAA. This fact was informed to the petitioner through Resolution Number CEE-AC-20-577, issued unanimously by the electoral commissioners and which he seeks to challenge.
In the absence of any action that is unreasonable, illegal, arbitrary or that damages constitutional rights of any party, this court is unable to impose its criteria or pass judgment on the wisdom of the determination of the President of the EEC. We cannot forget that there is a presumption of regularity and correctness in favor of administrative decisions and it corresponds to the party that challenges them, the duty to present before the judicial forum the necessary evidence that allows, as a matter of law, to discard that presumption of correction of the administrative determination.
Judgment. In view of the fact that the President of the EEC acted in accordance with his powers, relying on his experience and specialized knowledge on electoral matters, the present appeal for judicial review should be dismissed. V. Sentence For the reasons set forth above, this Court declares the motion for dismissal filed by the State Elections Commission to be Place. As a result of the foregoing, the appeal for judicial review presented by the petitioner is dismissed, ”the sentence reads.
On January 5, 2021, the petitioner Edgardo Cruz Vélez, candidate for mayor of Guánica under the modality of direct nomination or “write in”, presented, under Article 13.2 of Law 58-2020 known as the Electoral Code of Puerto Rico of 2020, the Appeal for judicial review against Resolution CEE-AC-20-577. Cruz Vélez explained that there are missing votes to be awarded, specifically the number of 22 votes, related to the controversy over the ballots of College 12, Unit 1, as well as other ballots which have been detected as unaccounted for and awarded to Cruz Vélez. He requested the revocation of the resolution, leaving it without effect, that the adjudication of the 22 ballots of Unit 12, College 1 be ordered, with the name of Edgardo Cruz Vélez or, any of its variants, in the count for the precinct 048 Guánica and that the court issue the Order addressed to the State Elections Commission so that it may proceed to certify the petitioner as mayor of the municipality of Guánica.