Thursday, December 9, 2021

Early Vote Count Running Calmly but Much Work Left

By on November 4, 2020

(María Soledad Dávila Calero/CB)

Election official clarifies social media rumors

SAN JUAN — Wednesday’s early vote tabulation began with taunts cnated between poll workers of the New Progressive Party (NPP) and Movimiento Victoria Ciudadana (MVC, or Citizens’ Victory Movement), whose election commissioner, Olvin Valentín, said the process was going slower than expected. 

“It is running well. Very quiet, I would say because we were already prepared to serve at least 50 tables that are manual allocation, which is the special tables. We are prepared for it but unfortunately there were only 12 tables, the same as yesterday. So we have officials there ready to continue working and if more tables open as well,” assured Valentín, referring to the 50 special tables expected to be added during the day to count the ballots that were not able to be scanned due to some error. 

The San Juan mayoral candidate for the MVC, Manuel Natal Albelo, made a public plea earlier in the morning to get more people to volunteer as poll workers “to defend the MCV votes.” More  than one hundred people showed up to be trained. 

Although in addition to the dozen special tables, the early vote count at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum is also being conducted on 33 regular tables, Valentín admitted there was pressure for election officials to process all the early votes before Monday when the canvass, or official tally of votes, is set to start 

“There are still many votes left to count. Not only is there the at-home vote, there are certain votes by mail that can still arrive, like the absentee vote, and there are also the votes that were made [Tuesday] that are not the early vote but the votes from the election that were added by hand—those will be counted in the scrutiny that begins Monday,” explained Valentín, adding that the State Elections Commission chairman said the agency awaits the work on the regular tables to be completed to free up more space for the additional 50 special tables. 

As for the claims on social media that MVC workers were being denied access to the counting tables, Valentín assured that the party has workers at every operational table. 

“Right now, the regular tables that are working in the precincts, we have an official at each of the tables. So those comments that are coming up on social networks are not entirely true. We have representation at all active tables, and we are not being deprived of any right to be at the tables. We have the officials and wherever there is a table working we have someone from Victoria Ciudadana.”

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