Disastrous Puerto Rico Elections
Puerto Rico's elections were a mess. On Sunday, August 9, Puerto Rico was forced to partially suspend voting for primaries marred by a lack of ballots, as officials called on the president of the Commonwealth's elections commissioner Juan Ernesto Davila to resign. The primaries for voting centers that had not received ballots by early Sunday afternoon were expected to be rescheduled, while voting would continue elsewhere, the commission said.
"I have never seen on American soil something like what just has been done here in Puerto Rico. It's an embarrassment to our government and our people," said Pedro Pierluisi, who was running against Gov. Wanda Vázquez, to become the nominees for the pro-statehood New Progressive Party.
The president of the New Progessive party, Thomas Rivera Schatz, along with the president of the main opposition Popular Democratic Party, held a joint press conference and said they agreed that the remaining primaries should be held on August 16. Other politicians argued that the entire primary be scrapped and held the following Sunday.
On August 16, the people of Puerto Rico once again went to vote. Puerto Rican Gov. Wanda Vazquez acknowledged losing the primary of her pro-statehood party to Pedro Pierluisi, who briefly served as the U.S. territory's governor last year amid political turmoil. With more than 78% of electoral colleges reporting late Sunday, Mr. Pierluisi received more than 57% of the vote compared with more than 42% for Gov. Vazquez.
Carlos Delgado, mayor of the northwest town of Isabela for 20 years, won by a landslide to lead the Popular Democratic Party. With more than 68% of electoral colleges reporting, Delgado had received more than 60% of the vote. Conceding defeat was Puerto Rico Sen. Eduardo Bhatia and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, known for her public spats with President Trump.