The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico recommended the Government of Puerto Rico to take steps to “adjust the operations” of the island’s State Elections Commission (CEE by its Spanish intials) to “fluctuate with the electoral cycle” and restructure its organization to become more efficient. In a letter to Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz and House Speaker Carlos Méndez Núñez, the board said the CEE’s operations “do not match the needs that it serves or the fiscal reality of the Island.” “The CEE should be most active in the year leading up to an election but can and should significantly reduce its operations in the remaining three years of an electoral cycle. This is what comparable electoral commissions do in most states” Chairman José Carrión wrote in the letter.
The board pointed out that the CEE’s structure is “highly bureaucratic and costly compared to state elections commissions and offices,” including a “complex organizational chart, with a president, three vice presidents, one electoral commissioner per party (currently three), alternate commissioners, a secretary, an under-secretary,” staff and “more than 85 Local Registration Boards spread across the Island…incurring personnel and administrative expenses.”
The board added that, according to Office of Management and Budget data, the CEE has approximately “700 employees yet it does not provide the residents of Puerto Rico with the ability to leverage technology to register to vote online or renew their voting cards like states and countries do.”