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Rep. Young to Serve as Election Observer in Upcoming Puerto Rico Political-Status Referendum


Washington, D.C.Alaska Congressman Don Young will join officials from the federal government, states and other governmental and non-governmental entities this weekend to serve as an election observer in the upcoming Puerto Rico political-status referendum on June 11th, 2017.

“A free, fair and transparent election is paramount to democracy. I’m honored to serve as an observer in this important plebiscite, which gives the people of Puerto Rico the opportunity to make their voices heard on the critical question of status,” said Congressman Don Young. “As Alaska’s sole Representative – the nation’s second youngest state – I share a deep appreciation and familiarity with the deliberations and debate involved in deciding whether or not to pursue statehood. For these reasons and others, I have long worked with the Puerto Rican people on issues stemming from the island’s territorial status. I strongly believe Puerto Rico has a right to self-determination and believe island residents deserve the opportunity to decide their own political future and relationship with the federal government.”

The delegation of election observers is led by Alaska Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska), U.S. Representative Darren Soto (D-FL), and Attorney Jason Emert, Executive Director of election monitoring organization Misión Observadora. Other members of the delegation are Laura Villalba, from the Federal Elections Commission (FEC); Ann M. Ravel, Former FEC Commissioner; Donald L. Fowler, former president of the Democratic National Committee; Fernando Bautista, deputy of the Central American Parliament; Michael P. Mehaan, former member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors; former Michigan Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter; Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Texas); Rep. Chris Johnson (R-Mississippi); Giovanni Cicionne, former president of the Rhode Island Republican Party; John Canegata, former president of the Virgin Islands Republican Party; and Elías Serulle, a deputy from the Dominican Republic.

Election observers will participate in seminars on Puerto Rico electoral law, absentee voting and mail voting. The delegation of electoral observers will deploy into the field to ensure the integrity of the voting process.

“We will welcome this delegation of observers who come to validate the process and the plebiscite’s results. They come to guarantee transparency and purity, and that the most precious right of democracy, the right to vote, is exercised freely. This effort will give us the opportunity for the people of Puerto Rico to have the assurance of a very valid event,” Puerto Rico Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marín said.


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