Gov. Luis Fortuño on Wednesday signed a new electoral code legislation that will shorten political campaign periods and implement an electronic voting and ballot verification system.
The governor’s signature on the new electoral law came after the House of Representatives, in a divided vote on Wednesday evening, concurred with Senate amendments to House Bill 1863. The legislation “adjusts the electoral law to reflect past experiences and avoid wrong interpretations.”
The legislation requires that each certified political party obtain at least 3 percent of the vote for its gubernatorial candidate to maintain it franchise with the State Elections Commission (SEC), and access to public campaign financing.
It will also virtually eliminate so-called mixed votes by requiring voters to cast a vote for at least one of the candidates in the political party preferred by the voter. In other words, it will declare null “triple-X” ballots” such as the so-called pivazos that led to Aníbal Acevedo Vilá’s razor-thin victory in the 2004 gubernatorial election. That year, thousands of votes were cast with an X for the Puerto Rican Independence Party with two other Xs for the Popular Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Acevedo Vilá and the New Progressive Party (NPP) resident commissioner candidate.
Sen. Alejandro García Padilla, the PDP president and 2012 gubernatorial candidate, blasted the new code and the elimination of the mixed ballots, accusing the majority NPP of angling to steal the 2012 election.
He also criticized a provision in the new law that allows public employees who will not be working on election day to cast their ballots in advance.
García Padilla also criticized a provision that will allow the majority of the justices on the Supreme Court to appoint the judges that will deal with the municipal electoral commissions.
Full Article: caribbeanbusiness.pr – Governor signs electoral code changes.