Vote Count Stalls in Puerto Rico as Officials Take Day off

Officials will resume manually counting votes on Tuesday

It will be a little while longer before final vote totals are known in Puerto Rico's Democratic presidential primary, because the U.S. territory's election commission workers took the day off on Monday.

Officials will resume manually counting votes on Tuesday and expect to issue a final certification later that day, Roberto Prats, the island's Democratic Party chairman, told The Associated Press.

He said officials worked until nearly dawn counting results of both the presidential primary and a local primary in which voters narrowed their choice for the island's next governor, legislators and mayors.

"We will resume tomorrow morning and try to close the local and presidential primaries at 100 percent," Prats said, adding that election workers received compensation time on Monday.

Griselle Lopez, the elections commission spokeswoman, did not return messages for comment.

Hillary Clinton won the race over Bernie Sanders. She has just over 60 percent to Sanders' nearly 39 percent, with roughly two-thirds of the vote tallied. Clinton is 23 delegates short of the 2,383 needed to win the nomination, according to an Associated Press count.

Prats said that in the future, Puerto Rico should reconsider holding local and presidential primaries on the same day.

"It presents some operational challenges like long lines like we had yesterday," he said. "We just have to learn from the lessons and make adjustments moving forward."

Some people became exasperated by the long lines and left without voting during Sunday's primary. 

Prats said the local Democratic Party was given roughly $300,000 to run the primary, compared to the roughly $1 million it received for the 2008 primary.

"I am sure everybody has an idea of how they can make it better, but we were working with limited resources," he said.

Puerto Rico is mired in a 10-year economic slump and seeking to restructure $70 billion in public debt that the governor has said is unpayable.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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