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Velázquez on Puerto Rico Civil Code and Election Systems

Velázquez on Puerto Rico Civil Code and Election Systems
November 12, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) released the following statement regarding legislation being considered in Puerto Rico that would alter the Island’s Civil Code and modify its electoral processes:

“These are bad pieces of legislation and the legislature should reject them. If they pass, the Governor should veto them. 

“The measures to change the Island’s Civil Code would constitute an enormous step backward for the women of Puerto Rico and our LGBTQ communities.  The amendments to Puerto Rico’s elections system are also a step in the wrong decision. At a time when many jurisdictions are increasingly turning to paper ballots to avoid risk of election interference, this measure would move the Island toward online voting. Not only does this enhance the risk of electoral meddling, but it also could undermine confidence in Puerto Rico’s democratic institutions when the Island’s residents are already distrustful of their government.

“In terms of process, these bills were developed behind closed doors without adequate public input. The undemocratic manner that led to their development has resulted in bad policy.  These measures should not become law.”