Friday, August 7, 2020

Voter Registration Deadline is Saturday

By on April 15, 2016

SAN JUAN – Saturday is the last day to register as a voter for the June 5 primaries.

The New Progressive Party’s elections commissioner, Jorge Dávila, stressed that Saturday is also the deadline to request voter reactivation, transfers, absentee ballots and early voting, as provided by State Elections Commission (EEC) regulations on primaries.

Turns will be given Sunday to those who the Permanent Registration Boards (JIP by its Spanish initials) were not able to register on Saturday. “The important thing is to go tomorrow to the nearest JIP and register. In the case of address transfers, tomorrow is the day to do it; if not, voting will have to be done using the former address [for the primaries] and then with the address transferred for the general election vote,” Dávila said.

Puerto Rico voting rules stipulate that a voter registration form must be completed 50 days before the election. Address changes of registered voters cannot occur after 120 days before the election.

The party elections commissioner said that “due to the decision of the Court of Appeals in Boston, with which the EEC finally decided to comply, all voters who did not vote in the 2008 and 2012 elections can vote, as they are registered even if they didn’t participate in those elections. It is very important people check that they have their voter ID card because it is necessary to exercise their vote.

Republican voters at the Toa Baja polling station. (Inter News Service photo)

Republican voters at the Toa Baja polling station. (Inter News Service photo)

“To register as a new voter, one needs to go to a JIP, present evidence of having been born in Puerto Rico; if not, they will need a birth certificate or citizenship certificate and provide a full mailing and residential address. It is recommended to have a utility bill such from as water or electricity on hand,” he added.

Voters must be at least 18 years old on or before the day of the general election, have an established residence in Puerto Rico and not have been judged by a court to be mentally incompetent to register and vote.

To obtain an absentee ballot, a letter must be written to the State Elections Commission 60 days before the election. It must include the person’s paternal and maternal names as well as those of both parents. Also, the person’s sex, date of birth, voter number, Puerto Rico home address, current temporary address, mailing address to which the ballot must be sent and the reason for not being able to go to the polls on election day.

To vote by absentee ballot, one must be on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or Puerto Rico National Guard; be studying outside Puerto Rico in an accredited educational institution; work for the Puerto Rico Labor Department’s Agricultural Jobs Program and not be in Puerto Rico on election day.

Those outside Puerto Rico providing diplomatic service or foreign aid for the U.S. government or in a staff exchange program between the Puerto Rico government and a foreign government may also request the absentee ballot.

The spouses and dependent children or relatives of the aforementioned voters are also eligible. Others who may vote remotely are crew of commercial airlines and merchant marines who are working outside of Puerto Rico on election day, members of the Puerto Rico Police and Corrections departments on active duty during the hours of voting, and members of the State Elections Commission.

Voters who because of illness or disability or because of their job find it impossible to vote and  those confined to penal institutions may also use an absentee ballot.

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