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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

International observers to monitor island primaries

State Elections Commission Interim Chairwoman Jessika D. Padilla Rivera

By The Star Staff

The State Elections Commission of Puerto Rico (SEC) announced Wednesday the arrival on the island of international observers for this Sunday’s primary elections.

The observers who will witness the electoral event have come from the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and El Salvador, among other countries.

The announcement was made by SEC Interim Chairwoman Jessika D. Padilla Rivera, along with the electoral commissioners of the New Progressive Party and Popular Democratic Party, Vanessa Santo Domingo and Karla Angleró González, respectively, in addition to Electoral Comptroller Walter Vélez Martínez.

The observers from 17 electoral organizations, including magistrates and presidents of electoral courts from 11 countries, will be monitoring the inmate vote on Friday, Padilla Rivera said.

Puerto Rico is a member of the Inter-American Union of Electoral Organizations and the Association of Women Magistrates of the Americas.

“The commission recognizes the importance of the exchange of information on electoral matters, the observation of electoral processes, and recommendations and assistance between electoral organizations as decisive factors for establishing and consolidating democracy through voting,” Padilla Rivera said.

She said the technological advances undergone by the electoral system in Puerto Rico position the U.S. territory as a model for scholars and other authorities on the subject.

Santo Domingo highlighted the benefits of the effort.

“As part of the exchange that we have had in observation missions in countries in the Americas and other [U.S.] states …, we promote the carrying out of these missions,” she said. “As a result, last year we were pioneers in holding an electoral technology congress, positioning Puerto Rico as the gateway to technology in democracy. In this primary, observers will see the use of saidthe technology in voting centers. We trust it will be a successful process with rich exchange for all participants.”

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