Thinking about a New Year’s Resolution? How about adding registering to vote to your list!
Last week’s article titled “Largest Political Parties in Puerto Rico to hold Primaries,” made me realize I could not procrastinate. I tried to do it online, there was link for Puerto Rico, but there was no information. I soon learned that you cannot register online, you have to do it in person. Now on a quest to complete this task, I started asking friends who have lived here for years. No one remembered how they did it.
I was sure if I asked enough people someone would know. I was lucky. I had a dinner party and one of my guests, a beneficiary of Act 22, had just registered. However, he could not remember where he went or what papers he needed to bring. He did have the phone number of a man who he thought could help me.
After calling the number three times, I spoke to Enio. He recalled helping my friend and said he would try to find out for me. Twenty minutes later he called to tell me the documents I would need:
1. Passport. This is the most important document. The other items I mention below are just for security reasons, unless they cannot verify your information.
2. Birth certificate
3. Puerto Rican identification
4. Original Social Security card (cannot be laminated)
5. A utility invoice
If you live in the San Juan area, the Comisión Estatal de Elecciones office is located adjacent to the Coliseo de Puerto Rico at 550 Aterial Hostos Ave. in Hato Rey.
Other municipalities have their own Directory of Permanent Registration Boards that you may find by logging on to http:// www.ceepur.org/directorio.htm
Once we found the office, the procedure was quick. They only assist one person at a time. The first agent I saw took my passport, looked me up in their system, verified my address was correct and printed out an application for me to check. I signed electronically and moved to the second agent. This agent took my photo and printed out my “Petición de Inscripción del Elector”. I was then handed my new official voting card.
Voters must vote in the area they are registered in. To find out where you need to go, log on to http://www.ceepur.org. On election day, you need to bring your voter registration card to your voting locale.
Be aware: If you do not vote in two consecutive elections you will need to go through this procedure again.