San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Legislator Proposes Change To Allow Absentee Votes

José Manuel Echandi, the only legislator from the National Union Party (PUN), has proposed an electoral reform that would allow the approximately 150,000 Costa Ricans living abroad to vote absentee in presidential elections.

According to a statement from the Legislative Assembly, Echandi brought up the idea during a meeting Tuesday with Rodrigo Arias, Minister of the Presidency and brother of President Oscar Arias. The legislator said the change could be included in other electoral reforms expected to be proposed to the assembly soon, including a reduction in government funding for political parties’ campaigns.

“This is a bill we’ll be presenting in the next few days,” Echandi said in the statement. “To exercise this right, Costa Ricans who live abroad will have to register eight months in advance of Election Day.”

Under the existing regulations, Costa Rican citizens can vote only in the country at the polling station closest to their registered place of residence.



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