The Dominican Republic will hold municipal elections on Sunday, March 15, to decide 3849 positions across the country's 158 municipalities. Voters will use paper ballots after a technical problem with electronic voting machines caused the government to suspend and subsequently reschedule the elections, which were originally held on February 16.
Multiple protests have been recorded across the Dominican Republic in recent weeks in opposition to the Central Election Board (JCE). A heightened security presence is to be expected on Sunday around polling sites. Demonstrations and associated transportation disruptions are possible on election day.
Municipal elections were held on February 16, in which several polling centers operating electronic ballots reported glitches. Following these reports, several protests were reported in cities across the country as a response to the glitches, seen as election rigging to benefit the leading party, the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD). The electronic system was used in just 18 of the 158 municipalities - areas with high population density. The Central Electoral Union (JCE) subsequently suspended the elections and called for a new vote on March 15.
While the protests have been largely peaceful, significant transportation disruptions have been reported in the aforementioned cities.
Individuals in the Dominican Republic more generally are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all large public gatherings as a precaution, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and refrain from discussing political topics in public or on social media.
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