Voting Rights issue image

Ocasio v. Comisión Estatal de Elecciones

Location: Puerto Rico
Status: Ongoing
Last Update: August 20, 2020

What's at Stake

The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Puerto Rico, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Puerto Rico Election Commission’s failure to implement steps to ensure voters over 60 can safely cast a ballot in the November general election in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Summary

The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Puerto Rico, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Puerto Rico Election Commission’s failure to implement steps to ensure voters over 60 can safely cast a ballot in the November general election in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Puerto Rico has already empowered the commission to implement accommodations to keep older citizens safe for the elections, including access to early and absentee voting, through a joint resolution of the Legislative Assembly for the primaries and an updated election code applicable to the Nov. 3 election.

“The problem is the commission isn’t doing anything to fulfill its existing legal mandate to protect voters for the November election. Older people are at particularly high risk of serious illness or death if they contract COVID-19. They need absentee and early voting options, but the commission is foot-dragging when it comes to adopting the necessary policies,” said Mayte Bayolo-Alonso, legislative attorney with the ACLU of Puerto Rico.

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