Argentina 2023 elections: LLA asks Electoral Court to accept primaries ballots in run-off

Javier Milei’s coalition says that ballots from the August 13 primaries were found and used by voters in some polling stations

La Libertad Avanza (LLA) has asked the National Electoral Court to declare ballots printed for the primaries valid in Sunday’s run-off, arguing that many voters had used the old ballots from August 13 in some polling stations.

LLA’s legal representative Santiago Viola told the Herald that the coalition received reports of ballots from the primaries appearing in polling stations in “around four to six schools in Buenos Aires province and three schools in Chaco.”

At 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Viola and his fellow LLA legal representative Karina Milei — presidential candidate Javier Milei’s sister — decided to present a request to the Buenos Aires Province and Buenos Aires City branches of the National Electoral Court.

The ballots that had been printed for the October 22 general elections are valid for the run-off, but those from the primaries are not.

The document says that after learning that there were “a large amount” of ballots from the August 13 primaries in some Buenos Aires Province and Chaco schools, LLA believes it is “necessary and vital, for the electorate’s will to be respected, that the LLA coalition ballots used in the primaries also be accepted in these elections.

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“It clearly and genuinely expresses the voter’s will and it does not have major differences compared with those permitted for use in October and this run-off.”

LLA’s spokesperson told the Herald that they do not know who put the older ballots in the polling rooms.

Last week, the Buenos Aires Province branch of the National Electoral Court told LLA that they had not provided enough ballots for the polling stations in the district, adding that in some cases the coalition had only delivered a fourth of the number of ballots recommended to ensure the election could proceed normally.

The National Electoral Directorate (DiNE, by its Spanish acronym) transferred each competing coalition AR$260 million (US$703,653 at the official exchange rate, US$297,956 at the MEP exchange rate) to print 87 million ballots, which they later had to deliver to the DiNE for distribution to polling stations around the country. LLA said they would not be distributing any more ballots through the DiNE, and that they would be providing polling stations with more ballots themselves, for fear that supporters and members of ruling coalition would Unión por la Patria steal or damage them.

Both Marcos Schiavi, head of the DiNE, and electoral judge María Servini have said that if there are not enough ballots, it will be the coalitions’ sole responsibility.

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Additional reporting by Facundo Iglesia


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