The Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones (TSE) – Costa Rica’s elections tribunal, is blame bad weather and the Superbowl game for poor voter turnout abroad in last Sunday’s presidential elections.
Luis Antonio Sobrado, president of the TSE, said that the majority of Costa Ricans abroad live in the northeast of the United States, that was hit by a lot of snow last weekend. The Superbowl game played on Sunday also had a hand in people staying home rather than to go out and vote.
Another factor that could have contributed to the poor voter turnout is the start of the Chinese New Year celebrations, making voting in Beijing difficult.
In New York, for example, there are 2.657 Ticos registered to vote. But only 150 turned out to vote on Sunday (by 3pm).
“I do not have definitive conclusions, it appears the climate in the northern United States, where some of the most important voting booths were, there was rough weather with freezing temperatures,” said Sobrado.
The TSE spent ¢66 million colones (US$132.000 dollars) to ensure Costa Ricans living abroad could exercise their right to vote. This is the first time that Costa Ricans living outside of Costa Rica could vote in the presidential elections.
On Sunday, April 6, Ticos abroad will join the more than 3 million in Costa Rica in the run off election between Luis Guillermo Solis, frontrunner and Johnny Araya.