Outgoing Puerto Rican Gov. Luis Fortuño is not going down without a fight. The Republican leader of the U.S. territory is demanding a recount to the results from this month’s elections that saw him lose his gubernatorial post to Alejandro García Padilla, the Popular Democratic Pary candidate who pulled in 47.78 percent of the vote, compared with Fortuño’s 47.09 percent. “I was informed by our electoral commissioner that, with a number of write-in votes still remaining and estimated at 20,000, which are yet to be verified, counted and included, whatever the case is, the trend observed so far in the candidacy for governor indicates that, provided it continues, the point-five percent (0.5%) difference referred to in Article 10.010, quoted, will probably be reached,” Fortuño wrote in a letter to Puerto Rico’s president of the State Elections Commission, Hector Conty, according to the newspaper El Nuevo Dia.
Voters crowded polling stations across Puerto Rico on Sunday and rejected constitutional amendments that would have reduced the size of the U.S. territory’s legislature and given judges the right to deny bail in certain murder cases. With 99 percent of polling places reporting, officials said 54 percent of the 805,337 votes counted rejected the legislative measure and 46 percent favored it. Fifty-five percent opposed the bail measure and 45 percent supported it. The referendum’s results mean Puerto Rico remains the only place in the Western Hemisphere where everyone is entitled to bail regardless of the alleged crime.
If Mitt Romney proved anything last weekend with his victories in Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands, it is that the Republican presidential nomination this year might not be won by high-profile triumphs in states such as Iowa and South Carolina, but rather by diligently and methodically amassing delegates in far-off contests. That makes Sunday’s primary in Puerto Rico more important than you might think. Twenty-three delegates will be up for grabs when voters in the island commonwealth head to the polls this weekend, nearly as many as there were in more publicized battles in Michigan – 30 – and Arizona – 29. It should come as no surprise, then, that Romney and rival Rick Santorum are set to campaign there only days before the primary. Newt Gingrich might soon follow.
Puerto Ricans will vote on whether to shrink the U.S. island territory’s legislature. Gov. Luis Fortuno has signed legislation setting a referendum on a reform package that would decrease the size of the Senate and House of Representatives by a combined 22 seats.
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.”