PDP electoral commissioner refuses to sign election certification for Senate District 7

By The Star Staff

Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Electoral Commissioner Gerardo Cruz Maldonado announced Thursday that he asked State Elections Commission (SEC) Chairman Francisco Rosado Colomer to correct the disclosure of at least four polling stations in the Humacao Senate District.

The request and the need for correction, Cruz Maldonado said, is due to data entry errors identified by PDP officials that affect the outcome of that election.

“On December 31, I warned that the candidate for senator for the Popular Party, Hill Román [Abreu], would prevail in that event,” Cruz Maldonado said at a press conference. “The manner in which the work was conducted at the close of the general scrutiny led the SEC itself to make data entry errors, which allowed incorrect information to be disclosed in the Humacao, Maunabo and San Lorenzo precincts. The corrections that we requested increase Hill Román’s tally by 62 votes.”

Cruz Maldonado’s request was accepted, by which a board of the SEC’s Electronic Systems and Procedures Office (OSIPE by its Spanish acronym) will verify the results of the Senate race in the Senate District 7 (Humacao). Cruz Maldonado said he believes that the correction of the disclosures on the SEC website will affect those results. If OSIPE is able to verify the information, it is expected that the results disclosed so far will be reversed.

“According to the result that was published as of December 31, 2020, by OSIPE, Hill Román lost the election by 42 votes,” the PDP electoral commissioner said. “However, we always said that the accelerated way in which the work of the scrutiny was being carried out, particularly with the JAVAA [Administrative Board of Early and Absentee Votes] minutes, could cause human errors that we are now forced to correct. Hill Roman will end up winning his seat. When those results are corrected, Hill Román will prevail by 20 votes.”

Cruz Maldonado refused to sign the certification of the result of the election for the Senate district of Humacao until such errors are corrected and noted that he communicated the situation to both the new president of the Senate, José Luis Dalmau, and the Román Abreu, who are hopeful that everything is corrected before the start of the ordinary session in the Senate.

“I cannot rule out that there are other errors in this district as well as in other precincts in Puerto Rico,” Cruz Maldonado said. “The form and manner in which this general scrutiny was organized deviated from the valuable verification mechanisms used in other events that would have avoided so many errors.”

The report from OSIPE is expected to be received in the coming days.

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