• The Star Staff

Wednesday deadline to request early voting in Aug. 9 primaries



By John McPhaul

jpmcphaul@gmail.com


This Wednesday, July 15, is the deadline for voters who wish to request early voting for primary elections in Puerto Rico on Aug. 9, Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Electoral Commissioner Lind Merle Feliciano announced on Sunday.


The option to vote in advance was expanded so that people over 60 years of age or with specific health conditions that represent high risk can vote the day before the primary, Merle Feliciano said Sunday afternoon in a written statement.


“If you are 60 years of age or older or if you have chronic diseases certified by a doctor authorized to practice in Puerto Rico, you can request early voting for the primaries on Aug. 9,” he said. “You only have to complete a form and some minimum requirements so that you can exercise your vote without having to be exposed [to the coronavirus] at the polling stations on the day of the electoral event.”


The PDP electoral commissioner added that “[t]he expansion of the [early voting] category is offered as a preventive measure to avoid infection due to the pandemic the country is facing.”


The following voters qualify to apply for early voting: people over 60 years of age; people with chronic lung diseases, moderate or severe asthma, or heart disease with complications;

people with compromised immune systems such as cancer patients and any other vulnerable and/or high-risk health classification.


“I want to remind elderly people that the right to vote early belongs to the voter and not to the administrators of the nursing homes or a boarding house,” Merle Feliciano said. “Although it is true that the Electoral Law recognizes ‘nursing homes’ as the home that a voter can claim as a domicile, that does not give the administrator authority to process an early vote request from the voters residing in the place.”


“Voting is free and voluntary and we must guarantee this principle,” he added.

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