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The Minister in the Dominican Republic (Russell) to the Secretary of State

56. Vasquez and Velasquez have advised me the following protest with the request that I forward it to you.

“In view of the unjust decision, of which you are aware, rendered by the Central Electoral Board there is eliminated from the right of suffrage in the Province of La Vega a very large number of voters pertaining to the National Progressive Alliance and also in view of the fact that the law provides no means by which the decision of the Electoral Board can be rectified, we energetically protest against said decision as by it in the Province of La Vega where the Alliance counts on a great lot of the votes, victory is assured to a party that will not even have to go to the polls. The Provincial Electoral Board of La Vega, to which was presented by the Provincial Assembly of the Alliance the list of candidates for public offices, legally approved said list as it did in the case of the list of the Coalition but the latter who could not be affected by acceptance of the list of the Alliance [disputed?] the decision of the Provincial Board and carried the case to the Central Electoral Board, [which] because of a mere formal error threw the list out. We can say with assurance that the nominations were made in compliance with all the provisions of article 24 of the law with the sole exception that the president and secretary of the Assembly annexed to the original [a] certified copy signed by all the delegates instead of a duplicate as requested the last paragraph of the above-mentioned article and it was approved by the Provincial Board of La Vega, the only board that could lawfully do this. It is so evident that there was not the slightest attempt on the part of the Provincial Assembly of the Alliance to violate the law and the directors of the National Progressive Alliance not only cannot understand the decision of the Central Electoral Board but are suspicious of the partiality shown in the decision. The electoral law which is the best [omission] all the laws for the Dominican people cannot mean that before elections take place a large number of voters are excluded from voting as is the case [in] La Vega because of a mere formal error. [The purpose of?] the law cannot be to exclude from suffrage Dominicans who wish to have a government of their free choice and who have the [Page 908]same right to vote as other Dominicans with no more restrictions than those prescribed by law”.

Russell