The electoral commissioner of the Popular Democratic Party (PPD), Gerardo “Toñito” Cruz, said that irregularities were detected in the advanced votes for the mayor of Culebra.
Cruz established that, after investigations by his office, irregularities were found consisting of voters registered in other jurisdictions, requests to vote by mail that arrive at the same postal address, among others. He argued that the findings could have influenced the results that, to this day, keep the current mayor, William I. Solís, losing the municipal seat by two votes.
“Culebra represents the best example of the approval of an electoral code designed to allow a fraudulent vote. Now, a voter can request an early vote in absent mode without any explanation, “denounced the electoral commissioner of the PPD.
“In Culebra, four cases of four voters who, living in Culebra itself, request that their ballot be sent to that address were detected and the person who appears as the owner, or manages or has control of that section, has no link with those four voters ”, explained the commissioner.
Another of the alleged irregularities reported by the official was in the case of “a voter who lives and publishes on social networks who has lived in the United States for years.” This voter, Cruz assured, requested an advance vote, by mail version to an address of relatives in the same municipality of Culebra. “He could have asked for an absentee vote, because you don’t have to justify why you send a request for the ballot to arrive in Florida or Texas. This voter, being able to request the absentee vote, requests the advance vote by mail version so that the ballot arrives at an address where his mother and sister also receive the ballots, “he explained.
The third finding denounced by Cruz was the early voting by registered mail to vote in another jurisdiction. “These people voted in the United States and the Commission, on the contrary, sent them the ballots of Puerto Rico and Culebra, and four voters were able to exercise the right to vote. It is the absentee early vote. This electoral code allows that a voter who is outside of Puerto Rico no longer has to justify because he is outside of Puerto Rico and can request, no matter what, that the ballots be sent to any jurisdiction in the United States. All these voters requested an absentee vote without any justification and they are voters who have not been domiciled in Culebra for years, ”he said. “
Under the previous code these people would have to justify that they were students, military, embassy workers, agricultural workers. No longer, these voters from the comfort of their home in Texas or Florida, which is where we most detect (cases), we send them the ballots and it is enough for them to say that in their hearts, one day, they will come to Culebra ” Cruz noted.
For his part, the mayor of Culebra said that he has already made a referral to the Department of Justice to ensure democracy in the Island Municipality. “Although we do not revalidate in these elections, we will be here until the last consequences. We are going to establish in Culebra that democracy and electoral laws are enforced because in Culebra we have historically been pioneers in challenges. Since the 2012 that I entered, we have established the challenges, unfortunately due to the pandemic there were no challenge processes, but many of these votes were approved through JAVAA after the date of challenge ”, denounced Solís.