The Dominican vote — a sign that global change is in the air?

One of the most interesting aspects of this past Sunday’s elections in the Dominican Republic was that for the first time, Dominicans living abroad could vote at local polling stations outside their country.  In Providence, New York, Boston and elsewhere, Dominicans who live outside their country could cast their votes for their preferred candidate for president.  While this may be nothing new to many other citizens of other countries, it is noteworthy in a country that still feels the legacy of Trujillo’s dictatorship.  And given the distrust of most Dominicans of the potential for corruption, which therefore voids the solution for extraterritorial voting that other countries have adopted through their consulates, the adoption of measures to incorporate the electoral wishes of the expatriate Dominican population is no small feat.

After 9 percent of the votes were counted, here are the results from 11 different polling stations outside the country, courtesy of DR1:

Boston (3,491 valid votes): 77.4% PLD, 19.6% PRD, 2.8% PRSC.
Miami (1,745 valid votes): 74.4% PLD, 21.5% PRD, 3.7% PRSC.
New Jersey (4,439 valid votes): 74% PLD, 22.3% PRD, 3.3% PRSC.
New York (12,101 valid votes): 73.7% PLD, 21.4% PRD, 4.4% PRSC.
Orlando (190 valid votes): 73.7% PLD, 23.7% PRD, 2.63% PRSC.
Tampa (203 valid votes): 68.47% PLD, 26.11% PRD, 4.43% PRSC.
Puerto Rico (3,225 valid votes): 79.9% PLD, 17.5% PRD, 2.4% PRSC.
Barcelona (1,329 valid votes): 73% PLD, 17.4% PRD, 6.6% PRSC.
Madrid (2,913 valid votes): 77.7% PLD, 15.1% PRD, 5% PRSC.
Montreal (303 valid votes); 71.62% PLD, 27.72% PRD, 0.66% PRSC.
Venezuela (369 valid votes): 66.94% PLD, 31.71% PRD, 1.36% PRSC.

At first blush, this certainly seems to indicate that expatriate Dominicans support the incoming President, Leonel Fern

1 Comment

  1. Sam Goble

    May 24, 2004 @ 1:02 am


    Mr. Kirkman,
    My name is Sam Goble. I am a research associate at the non-profit group The Council on Hemispheric Affairs based in Washington DC.
    I have been following the dominican elections and I enjoyed reading through your blog and think that your brief opinions and questions are relevant.

    Off the record,
    Do you think that the Dominican vote was really anything more than pocketbook voting? What is your take on Mejia?
    Is he a cause or victim of the economic stagnation that plagued his presidency?
    Can Fernandez really make a difference? His past economic success is debatable since his presidency benefitted from the largest U.S. bull market in history, and his 1996-2000 term was marred by severe corruption culminating in the PEME scandal. Mejia, personally avoided such scandals, while not significantly attacking the institutional corruption below him.

    I personally believe that populations vote out of their pocketbooks, although lately the Bush administration has internationally given everyone something else to consider: Their governments relationship with him, good or bad.

    Just baiting some discussion,

    Sam Goble
    Council on Hemispheric Affairs