Puerto Rico:

Commonwealth Election Law and Its Application to a Political Status Referendum

HRD-90-60: Published: May 2, 1990. Publicly Released: May 2, 1990.


Linda G. Morra
(202) 512-7014


Office of Public Affairs
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed Puerto Rico's electoral law and proposed status referendum.

GAO found that Puerto Rico's electoral law: (1) and election process was basically sound; (2) incorporated a number of safeguards and controls to protect the integrity of election results, including principal political party representation at all levels of the election process and stringent registration and voting procedures; and (3) placed limits on political campaign contributions and expenditures. GAO also found that: (1) the law only applied to candidate elections and did not extend to any referenda; (2) the rights of nonresident voters to participate in the referendum were in question; (3) legislation needed to authorize the 1991 status referendum may extend campaign contribution limits to the referendum; and (4) there were no allegations of election fraud and abuse in recent elections.

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