PONCE – Several college officials from the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) told La Perla del Sur that the experience of being officials was a very good one, since they were defending the democratic vote of Puerto Rican voters but, nevertheless, at the same time it was frustrating by the irregularities that occurred on the part of officials of other parties.
In the case of the young Rodrigo Dominicci, he narrated how they tried to accuse him that he was urging voters to vote for the PPD mayoral candidate for Ponce, Luis Irizarry Pabón, when he was even from that party. They tried to remove him from the school and leave him, but he remained firm in his commitment and remained in the school.
Among other irregularities that Dominicci could notice as an official, was the attempt to give 5 ballots to a voter, instead of 4; people insisting on taking photos with their ballots; and how 5 of the 6 schools that were in his unit could not transmit the votes via Internet to the State Elections Commission (CEE) for alleged lack of signal.
Dominicci also understands that the electoral process -as it is carried out right now in Puerto Rico- is not very inclusive because, for example, blind people must have an assistant to vote and this does not guarantee that they will vote in the way in which the blind want. Likewise, he understands that the handwriting of the ballots is not very legible for the elderly who have vision problems.
For her part, the young PIP official, Nileisha Maldonado told La Perla del Sur that serving in these elections was a good and exciting experience for her. She had the task of distributing the ballots and she carried it out in an always alert manner. “I was arguing all day to carry everything in a legal manner, I was the only one from the PIP acting as an official … I did not move from the room until I closed the briefcases,” said Maldonado.
For her it was very frustrating and draining to realize the things that some games are capable of doing to win with cheating. One of the irregularities he saw was how they pointed out to the elderly where they should mark to vote, instead of just explaining the different ways to exercise their vote.
According to Maldonado and Dominicci himself, officials from other parties also tried to change their tasks or incite them to take a break to eat or go to the bathroom, so that there was no one representing the PIP at school.
“If we want some changes, we have to have at least two or three officials in each college and prepare and educate them on electoral laws,” Dominicci advised on how to ensure neatness in the democratic process.
For his part, the young Luis Aníbal Díaz has been working as a PIP official for three elections and is not taken by surprise by the irregularities or attempts to damage the democratic process that Dominicci and Maldonado may have noticed.
However, he assures that in these elections – in the schools where there was representation of the PIP – the vote of the voters was defended, the doubts of the voters were clarified and the votes of all were respected regardless of colors.
“My invitation to young people is to take responsibility to defend democracy honestly. We did the work, we respected the democratic vote and we guaranteed the vote where there were PIP officials, ”said Díaz.
The young PIP officials denounced, in turn, the lack of education about the voting process and advised that in the future there should be better access to information on how to vote for all sectors, as this would guarantee that each voter can exercise your right to vote without being manipulated by any official who points out or suggests who to vote for.