Puerto Rico Halts Primary Voting Due to Lack of Ballots
Governor Wanda Vázquez, who is running for re-election, said the situation was "totally unacceptable and outrageous."
On Sunday, Puerto Rico had to partially suspend scheduled primary voting because some voting centers had not received ballots. Voters who showed up at centers without ballots were turned away. According to the Associated Press, primaries for voting centers that had not received ballots would be rescheduled, while voting would continue elsewhere.
Governor Wanda Vázquez, who is running for re-election as part of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party, said the situation was "totally unacceptable and outrageous." "What happened today by the State Elections Commission is unprecedented and there is no excuse that can support it," she tweeted. "This matter must be addressed immediately and the alternatives analyzed." She also called for the resignation of the president of the elections commission.
"I have never seen on American soil something like what has just been done here in Puerto Rico," said Pedro Pierluisi, who is running against Vázquez. "It's an embarrassment to our government and our people." In a separate tweet, he wrote: "Today the entire electoral system has been violated, hundreds of thousands of voters have been prevented from exercising their right to vote. This is an embarrassment for Puerto Rico. We are going to guarantee the vote to all Puerto Ricans."
Thomas Rivera Schatz, the president of the governor's party, and the president of the main opposition Popular Democratic Party held a joint press conference announcing their agreement that the remaining primaries should be held on August 16.
Meanwhile, the island continues to experience a spike in COVID-19 cases, with more than 12,800 probable cases, more than 8,500 confirmed cases, and at least 274 deaths.