Joe Biden says it is unacceptable the people of Puerto Rico were denied the right to vote after the island nation was forced to partially suspend voting for primaries marred by a lack of ballots.
"For decades, elections in Puerto Rico were known for high participation rates and transparency," Biden said in a statement Tuesday.
"It was a process that many took pride in. It is unacceptable that the people of Puerto Rico, who waited in line on Sunday in the midst of a global pandemic, were denied the right to vote. Their voices must be heard. Our democracy only works when every citizen has the ability to exercise their right to vote. Every vote must count."
Some voters waited for hours in the sweltering August heat to vote Sunday. By 2 p.m. ET, the electoral commission suspended the vote in polling places where no ballots had arrived and scheduled the remainder of the vote for the following Sunday.
One candidate called the situation "embarrassing."
"The disruptions . . . are the result [of] inefficient organization at an agency that only two weeks ago struggled to procure the printing of ballots for an election that was originally supposed to take place on June 7," the board said in a statement according to the Associated Press. "The State Elections Commission has sufficient money, and it has the more than enough staff to perform the one task it is charged with."
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