NPP denies irregularities in absentee ballot requests
SAN JUAN — “All expressions from Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Electoral Commissioner [Guillermo San Antonio Acha] are false. It is an act of desperation. ”
This was the immediate reaction of the alternate electoral commissioner of the New Progressive Party (NPP), Norma Burgos, to the complaint that the PDP Electoral Commissioner made Tuesday morning alleging that the NPP made nearly a thousand absentee ballot requests in violation of electoral law.
San Antonio Acha denounced that the NPP allegedly certified absentee votes for bed-ridden voters by using physicians “who have not visited patients, do not have their license up to date, are public employees who are not allowed to do private work, and have [in the past] certified people who have passed away and people who walk properly as well,” which represents a violation of electoral law.
For Burgos, this is a political attack that responds to the fact that “clearly on the street, [the PDP’s] statistics and surveys are proving to them that have no chance to win.” She said it was the same strategy used in the past four years by then PDP Electoral Commissioner Eder Ortiz.
“If the president of the State Election Commission (EEC), Liza Garcia, rules in favor of the PDP, as she often does, [remember that] she was an alternate commissioner of the PDP under Eder Ortiz, [so] we are prepared. Let’s go to court, and let’s see their case get dismissed,” Burgos said to Caribbean Business.
The PPD publicly presented six of the alleged hundreds of complaints filed against the NPP regarding absentee ballots, whose filing deadline was September 19.
Regarding the complaint against the doctors who work full time in the Corporation Insurance Fund State (CFSE), the former senator said they did not need a waiver to perform a task that would not entail financial compensation, as was the case certify absentee ballots, contrary to what San Antonio Acha claims.
Burgos denied any conflict of interest in the case of doctors who are, in turn, candidates for the municipal legislatures of Utuado and Arecibo, because “when they see the patient, they are not campaigning.”
In the case of Dr. Rosalía Santiago, whose complaint was filed in Juana Diaz, Burgos said that when Santiago accepted she did not remember all of patients she had visited, she meant she needed the written record to speak in detail, but that did not mean that she had not made the visits. “She gave a sworn declaration and put her license as a guarantee,” Burgos said, also giving explantions for the other cases alleged by the PDP electoral commissioner.
“We will defend the right of all Puerto Ricans who have mobility problems,” said Burgos, who added that the party will also provide doctors able to certify their absentee ballot requests without charging a single penny.