In politics, when your opponent lashes charges at you, you pretty much know that it is part of the game, but when those in your own camp start making the same charges,, chances are you have major problems to resolve. Such is the case of Puerto Rico's New Progressive Party, the island's pro-statehood party, whose leader, governor Luis Fortuño, made sure that his PNP put on a good show and prove to Mitt Romney that Romney would win Sunday's GOP primary in a landslide. Fortuño delivered, as the final Puerto Rico results confirm. Romney got 82.85% of the vote (99,909), Santorum got 9,676 (8.02%), independent Buddy Roemer came in third with 2,670 votes and 2.21% of the vote, while Newt Gingrich won 2,462 votes (2.04%) and Ron Paul earned just 1,476 votes and 1.22%. As for Fred Kruger, nice job to beat out Paul, and you gotta love the fact that Roemer beat out Newt and Paul.
However, there are now charges that the PNP and the Republican Party of Puerto Rico committed voter fraud. El Nuevo Día reported the following on March 19. A delegate for Ron Paul and an observer to the primary process both said in written statement that the were not enough election officials at the polling sites, some sites had opened late or changed their hours without notice, and there were not sufficient ballots in some sites. The charges also went to say that this was just part of the PNP's electoral machine to deliver a resounding victory for Romney.
Another article this week quoted the island's PPD (Popular Party) Election Commissioner, who said that such a fraud was embarrassment to the primary process. The commissioner also added that the PNP's endorsement of Romney (through Fortuño as the party's leader) put other Republican candidates at a disadvantage.
"This could be fraud in our electoral process and we would be seen as fools in the process of the Republican primaries," PPD Election Commissioner Eder Ortiz said.
The PPD also sent an email to supporters saying that these fraud charges inflated voter numbers by 50,000 and they shared the following chart to make their point (this applies to the local elections). Basically, the PPD charges that the PNP added votes to the rolls and that there was little oversight.
In the meantime, the PPD confirmed that 200,000 PPD supporters voted in the local primaries.