Local Dominicans Called to Vote in Presidential Election

Four of every 10 Dominicans in New York were born in the U.S. Many of those interviewed did not know they could vote without being registered at a polling station. (Photo by Elena Torres via El Diario)

Many of those interviewed did not know they could vote in the Dominican elections without being registered. (Photo by Elena Torres via El Diario)

Below are excerpts from a story by El Diario’s Elena Torres about Sunday’s Dominican election, in which for the first time since 1994, the president, vice president, congress and municipal authorities will be elected at the same time.

In New York, many voters do not know that they are not required to register in order to cast a ballot. Dominicans who have a new identification card only need to call or go online to find a voting site near them.

Earlier this month, the Dominican Republic’s Central Board of Elections (Junta Central Electoral, or JCE) issued a resolution allowing voters abroad to exercise their right without the need to register by simply presenting their new ID card at a voting site.

That means that any Dominicans wishing to vote who have a new ID card will be able to do so.

To locate their assigned voting site, voters must visit www.jce.gob.do, click where it says “Veríficate ahora” (“verify now”) and enter their ID number, or call (866) 852-9887.

Voters must cast their ballot at the site they have been assigned. Interviewed voters said that they did not know that they could vote without registering.

The JCE’s general supervisor in the U.S., Miguel Melenciano, said that the 235 polling sites located throughout the five boroughs will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and that any voters who are inside at closing time will be allowed to cast their ballot.

“This year, our expectations regarding the number of voters surpass last year’s. We believe that if 124,707 Dominicans got their new ID card in New York and registered at a polling site, then they will vote. Add to that the people who got their ID in the Dominican Republic but forgot to register,” said Melenciano.

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Another story by Reporte Hispano’s Gery Vereau tells about the Dominican election in New Jersey, which will employ a new voter identification system.

Rafael González, in charge of the Dominican board of elections in New Jersey, shows the new technology to be used during Sunday’s polls. (Photo by Gery Vereau, via Reporte Hispano)

Rafael González, in charge of the Dominican board of elections in New Jersey, shows the new technology to be used during Sunday’s polls. (Photo by Gery Vereau, via Reporte Hispano)

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An electronic system called “registration unit” will scan voters’ identification documents and match them with their voting table at the 90 voting sites set up in 17 cities throughout the state.

Rafael González, in charge of the Dominican board of elections in New Jersey, showed the USB-powered device to Reporte Hispano. It will be activated on the day of the election.

According to González, the JCE announced that unregistered voters will be able to vote at a special table assigned for walk-ins, which will be available at every voting site.

González added that there are nearly 48,000 registered voters in New Jersey, of whom, historically, only 30 percent cast their ballots. The JCE’s decision seeks to increase that number by 40 percent.

Two ballot boxes will be displayed: one for the president and one for the representative of Dominicans abroad.

Voting sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The results, including New Jersey, are expected to be known around 10 p.m., and will be announced at the headquarters set up at the Saddle Brook Holiday Inn. Delegates from every party and the press will be allowed to be on site to wait for the outcome.

“It is important that all Dominicans come out to vote to choose the candidate of their preference,” said González.

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