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Report: Puerto Rico Primary Marred By Issues With Voting Machines

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Voting machines from Dominion Voting Systems allegedly miscounted hundreds of votes during Puerto Rico’s primary election on Tuesday, leading the U.S. territory to review its contract with the U.S.-based company, according to a report from the Associated Press (AP).

The AP cited Jessika Padilla Rivera, the interim president of Puerto Rico’s elections commission, to report that the miscount “stemmed from a software issue that caused machines supplied by Dominion Voting Systems to incorrectly calculate vote totals.” Dominion confirmed that “software issues stemmed from the digital files used to export results from the machines,” according to the report.

The primary was held so the Popular Democratic Party, which supports keeping the island’s current status as a territory, and the New Progressive Party, which supports Puerto Rican statehood, could choose their respective candidates for the island’s gubernatorial race. Though no one is contesting the results of the race, at least 6,000 Dominion Voting Systems machines were reportedly used in the primary.

The AP reported that “both parties reported hundreds of ballots showing inaccurate results, with the PNP reporting over 700 errors and the PPD pointing to some 350 discrepancies.”

The elections commission conducted an audit of the paper receipts from the ballot-tabulating machines, the outlet reported.

“The concern is that we obviously have elections in November, and we must provide the (island) not only with the assurance that the machine produces a correct result, but also that the result it produces is the same one that is reported,” Padilla reportedly said.

“We cannot allow the public’s confidence in the voting process to continue to be undermined as we approach the general elections,” urged José Varela, the vice president of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, according to the report. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s Ombudsman Edwin García Feliciano reportedly called for the governor and other federal authorities to create a plan to avoid a similar scenario in November.

“Predictable circumstances, which are well known to the public, cannot be addressed by improvisation and in a rush,” García Feliciano reportedly said.

Independent presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy raised concerns about the issues in a post on X, stating should he win, he would “require paper ballots.”

“What happens in jurisdictions where there is no paper trail?” Kennedy asked in a post on X. “US citizens need to know that every one of their votes were counted, and that their elections cannot be hacked. We need to return to paper ballots to avoid electronic interference with elections.”

“My administration will require paper ballots and we will guarantee honest and fair elections,” Kennedy’s post continued.

Billionaire and X owner Elon Musk echoed Kennedy’s post, adding “We should eliminate electronic voting machines. The risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high.”


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