Local May 20, 2024 | 9:52 am

Citizen Participation’s review of Election Day observations

Santo Domingo.- Citizen Participation maintained its electoral observation throughout the afternoon of election day, utilizing its 1,600 observers spread across the national territory. This extensive network allowed for a comprehensive evaluation of the electoral process.

We received 968 reports from our itinerant observers, who covered multiple voting precincts each, and we have a random sample of 728 observers stationed at polling stations, providing a broad overview of the electoral process.

Our observers reported that 77% of polling stations closed between 5 and 6 PM, while 23% closed before 5 PM.

In the afternoon, violations of electoral laws continued, particularly concerning proselytism around the electoral precincts, affecting 36% of the precincts. The most frequent offenders were the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) at 33%, followed by the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) at 28%, the People’s Force (FP) at 22%, and the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) at 10%.

In 96% of the precincts, lines were orderly, and 98% had the presence of the Military Electoral Police, who largely assisted in organizing the lines and dispersing citizens who had already voted.

However, indicators of vote-buying and cash distribution were reported in 21% of the facilities. The PRM was identified in 18% of these cases, the PLD in 14%, the FP in 10%, and the PRD in 6%. These activities were observed near the voting enclosures, with the Military Electoral Police occasionally dispersing those involved, although some instances went unnoticed.

Several exit polls were conducted as permitted by the Electoral Regime Law. However, some were disclosed during the voting process, violating Organic Law 20-23 of the Electoral Regime, which prohibits such disclosures until three hours after the polls close. We expect the appropriate sanctions for those responsible, as outlined in the law. Regardless of personal opinions on the law, it is essential to comply until it is amended.

There were incidents of violence, including threats to Citizen Participation observers attempting to document vote-buying. Notably, our observer José Augusto Navarro at San Martín de Porres Basic School in Azua was threatened with a machete while filming People’s Force militants distributing cash.

Observers also reported cases of people not appearing on the registry at polling stations but appearing on the registry abroad, despite never having traveled outside the Dominican Republic. Citizen Participation recommends a thorough investigation of these incidents.

We will continue to monitor the work of the Superior Electoral Tribunal in addressing any challenges to the election results and the Special Prosecutor’s Office for the Investigation and Prosecution of Electoral Crimes, which must investigate the various complaints.

The Atentocontuvoto.org platform received 53 complaints from citizens, validating 46. The most frequent violations were proselytism by political parties (43%), propaganda within and around electoral precincts (30%), distribution of gifts (13%), and the buying and selling of ID cards (4%).

It was evident that the electoral ban mandated by Law 20-23 was not enforced on social media, indicating a need for stricter future regulations. Our observers did not report pre-marked ballots, but given the numerous complaints, we urge the Central Electoral Board to investigate and disclose their findings.

At the end of the day, Citizen Participation commends all citizens who participated orderly and showed a strong commitment to democracy. We hope all contenders respect the results and that those elected meet the expectations of Dominican society.

The Central Electoral Board deserves praise for its efforts in organizing the elections with hard work, transparency, and efficiency, laying the groundwork for an even better process in May, addressing any persistent issues.

The Military Electoral Police also deserves recognition for their conduct, which ensured tranquility within the precincts.

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May 20, 2024 1:10 pm

Agentes locales de USAID.

May 20, 2024 8:02 pm

The absentee rate is between 30-40%, thats including people who sold their votes for cash, you know? , to buy food and eat . its probably realistically around 50 %