CVM rips SEC’s ‘customary’ lack of transparency in certifying elections

By The Star Staff

Citizen Victory Movement (CVM) Electoral Commissioner Olvín Valentín Rivera charged Sunday that the State Elections Commission (SEC) “lies” when certifying that all the votes were counted and awarding candidacies.

Valentín Rivera said the SEC’s practice when there are votes to be counted is to report polling stations at zero and then count them in the general vote count.

“The results that the State Elections Commission is certifying are simply false,” Valentín Rivera said in a written statement. “It is not true that 100 percent of the [polling stations] have been counted or closed. At the SEC there is a bad habit of closing schools as if there were no votes in them and then counting them during the general vote count. Just because that’s the practice historically doesn’t mean it’s a good one. This type of action seriously damages the legitimacy and transparency of the electoral process in Puerto Rico.”

The CVM official also stated that in the case of the race for mayor of San Juan and that of House of Representatives District 3, where CVM candidate Eva Prados Rodríguez is fighting for a seat in the lower chamber, there are still thousands of votes to be counted.

“Here we are talking about 4,000 manually added votes missing and several polling stations missing from the count in which there could be thousands and thousands of votes, including, among them, many of those rejected by the machines on election day,” Valentín Rivera said.

The CVM electoral commissioner also said that, although these practices may have become custom at the SEC, now that the CVM is part of that entity, they will not allow it.

“Without a doubt, the actions of the SEC are part of the usage and custom there,” Valentín Rivera said. “But the CVM was not in this body before. Now that we are, we are not going to allow it. That is why I refused to legitimize the certification of preliminary results with my signature.”