On referendum day, eyes on November
What New Progressive Party and Popular Democratic Party officials were in agreement on was that the turnout in Sunday’s referendum would be about 25% of the close to 2.3 million registered voters, or some 500,000 to 600,000.
The 18” x 22” ballot, of which some 3 million were printed, were being made available to voters in 110 precincts at 3,151 schools from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
The referendum would shrink the size of the island’s legislature by almost 30 percent as part of a cost-saving measure and allow judges the right to deny bail in certain murder cases.
Should either of the “yes” options win, it would mark the first amendment to the island Constitution since 1970, when a proposal to lower the voting age to 18 was approved.
NPP Electoral Commissioner Edwin Mundo sees the results of the referendum as an indication of what will happen in the November general elections and status plebiscite and said he is expecting a turnout from within his own party of 400,000.
Both the bail and legislative reform measures have been pushed by Gov. Luis Fortuńo, the NPP president who is seeking a second term as governor on the statehood ticket.
PDP Electoral Commissioner Eder Ortíz said he expects a total of some 600,000 voters to participate of which half – or 300,000 – will be members of his party.
Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) Electoral Commissioner Roberto Iván Aponte Berriós said his party has made no estimates of either turnout or results.
Should the proposal to lower the size of the Legislature win it would result in dropping the number of senators from 27 to 17 and the number of representatives from 51 to 39. To accommodate this, the number of representative districts would increase from eight to 11 and minority party representation would drop from the current nine in the Senate to six and from 17 to 13 in the House of Representatives.