San Juan Puerto Rico – Before voting, voters can know the profiles of the 3,214 candidates who aspire to occupy the 1,046 elective positions to be decided in the elections on November 3 in one place, through the tool WhoMeRepresentaPR.com, reported the executive director of Open Spaces (EA), Cecille Blondet Passalacqua.
The virtual platform — containing profiles of all candidates at the state, federal, and municipal levels, including 888 municipal legislators — has become a one-of-a-kind tool that is accessible to the general public and offers high-contrast viewing for facilitate navigation for people with limited vision.
It can be accessed from any device with Internet (computers, smartphone or tablets).
Geolocation technology allows the user, using their zip code, and without having to enter personal information, to navigate and know the profiles of all applicants.
“The goal is that WhoMeRepresentaPR.com become a compass for 2,355,895 eligible voters. We were able to include information on the universe of people who aspire to 1,046 elective positions that cannot be found in any other tool in the country, not even on the website of the State Elections Commission, ”said the executive director.
“The information is presented in a completely objective manner, without editorializing and under equal conditions for all applicants,” he stressed.
On the cyber portal, the profiles contain the names and photos of the candidates as they appear on the ballot in strict alphabetical order, the position to which they aspire, whether they are incumbent or not and the party under whose insignia they are running, including the independents.
Users can access applicants’ social media and websites and send emails to them.
The platform also offers other decisive information for voters, since they can view and download the ballots of their district or precinct, practice voting and identify their voting center.
The frequently asked questions section includes information on how to vote in full, mixed or by candidates and the number of votes that can be cast per ballot.
They can also access the reports submitted by each candidate to the Electoral Comptroller, the published Ethics reports and the Comptroller’s Office.
Links are provided to more information of interest generated by independent citizen projects such as Your vote is not allowed, Project 85, I vote with conscience, Practice Your Vow and the official site of the State Elections Commission (CEE).
The digital tool, which was launched last March to make it easier for people to identify and contact the elected officials who are supposed to represent them from any device with an Internet connection, has evolved as needed.
In the summer, it became a reference for information on the primary candidates.
After the primaries on August 16, 2020, the functionality began to transform to what it is today: a source of extensive reliable information about the official candidates for the general election.
As of January 2021, when the new elected officials assume their positions, QuienMeRepresentaPR.com will return to its original function with the contact information of the people who elected positions and reports on their execution, among other functionalities that will continue to be added as such. as has been done in the past, and as circumstances allow.
The platform — which is managed by María Mercedes Rodríguez and María Cristina Moreno, from the EA team — is funded by Philanthropy Puerto Rico.
Google Analytics data shows us that the website has had very favorable numbers from users, which implies that citizens are hungry for electoral information and information about elected officials.
Since March, the QMR portal has had 81,382 unique visitors, 112,940 visits, 452,622 page views and 308,792 unique page visits. The average user time per page is 1:14 and the visit or session is 3:24 minutes, explained Blondet Passalacqua.
He said that it is necessary to remember that access the public information necessary for the development of the platform — specifically on incumbents, candidates, and primary candidates — EA had to take the EEC to court twice: in February and again in July.
Both cases were resolved in favor of the organization, which, in turn, has shared files, such as those of the candidates’ photographs, with other organizations and initiatives that seek to inform voters.
“The development and design of the platform WhoMeRepresentaPR.com It was carried out by a team of young Puerto Ricans made up of Luis Roca Iguina, Rima Ibrahim and Luis González and its content was developed by young university students from EA’s summer boarding school. The exercise of rescuing public information and making it accessible to the population for its use has been led by professionals in training and emerging, something that those who aspire to occupy elective positions must remember because it is no longer an option to operate in the dark, “said Blondet Passalacqua.