Biden speaks out about PR primary election debacle

By John McPhaul

The presumed Democratic Party candidate for the presidency of the United States, former Vice President Joe Biden, spoke out Tuesday on the failed primaries held last Sunday in Puerto Rico.

“For decades, elections in Puerto Rico were known for their high participation rates and transparency. It was a process that many took pride in,” Biden said in a written statement. “It is unacceptable that the people of Puerto Rico, who waited in line Sunday amid a global pandemic, were denied the right to vote. Their voices must be heard.”

“Our democracy only works when each citizen has the ability to exercise their right to vote,” he added. “Every vote must count.”

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón said Tuesday that once the primary vote is over, if State Elections Commission (SEC) Chairman Juan Ernesto Dávila does not resign, he should be charged with gross negligence in the line of duty.

“Ineptitude is not tolerated, it is removed,” the resident commissioner said in response to questions from the press. “The people of Puerto Rico have sufficient reason to be outraged at the role of [Dávila] and the electoral commissioners of the NPP [New Progressive Party], the PDP [Popular Democratic Party] and the PIP [Puerto Rican Independence Party], who knowingly allowed what was there [to happen]. Nobody is going to tell me -- because I was an electoral official -- that the process of packing the ballots is done the day before the election.”

González Colón added that she is one of the people who has not been able to vote. She stated that she has tried to communicate with the SEC chairman and has not succeeded.

“I believe that what the situation calls for is that the precincts that voted be counted, certified, and the results made public,” the resident commissioner said. “Remember that it is not only the primaries for governor -- here there are primaries for mayors, district representatives and district senators. There is no reason to have the exercise of the vote kidnapped from the voter who [is prepared to exercise that right].”

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