Governor vetoes Electoral Code amendments
By The Star Staff
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said late last week that he vetoed proposed amendments to the Electoral Code.
The governor did not sign the measure that amended the Electoral Code because, as he had pointed out, it does not establish 60 years as the minimum age for early voting, as was the agreement of the legislative leadership of the minority New Progressive Party and the majority Popular Democratic Party (PDP) prior to the approval of the measure. On the contrary, the measure sets at 75 years the age required to be able to request early voting, which, the governor said, far from facilitating democracy, puts more obstacles in the way of older adults.
Also, the measure limits the power of the State Elections Commission (SEC) chairperson to add other categories to the advance vote in the absence of unanimity, and seeks to shorten the time for the request of the advance vote, which again instead of facilitating, makes voting more difficult, Pierluisi said.
Another provision the governor objects to, among others, is that the alternate SEC chairperson be entrusted with the direction of the Administrative Board of Absentee Voting and Early Voting, since there is no need to disrupt the current procedure in which all parties have participation, he said.
PDP President Jesús Manuel Ortiz González repudiated the veto.
“With this undemocratic veto, the only person responsible for voters over 75 but under 80 not being able to request early voting is the governor himself, as we have already established countless times, the current statute establishes that only people 80 years or older can request it,” he said at a press conference on Friday. “I ask the governor to stop playing politics with this issue and assume his responsibility. He cannot continue to assign blame to the PDP that only belongs to him and his party.”