Nov. 11 (UPI) — Electoral officers say they’ve discovered virtually 200 briefcases stuffed with uncounted ballots that have been apparently saved in a vault in Puerto Rico and forgotten.

Officers stated a complete of 184 briefcases have been found. The 1000’s of ballots inside may doubtlessly change the outcomes of some races on the island U.S. territory.

The president of the territory’s election fee stated a number of of the briefcases have been discovered Wednesday.

Victoria Ciudadana, a candidate for San Juan mayor and spokeswoman for Puerto Rican Home Rep. Manuel Natal Albelo, known as for the excellent votes to be included within the remaining tally.

Election officers say the big variety of early ballots forged in Puerto Rico this yr was doubtless a think about why the briefcases have been missed.

New Progressive Get together nominee Pedro Pierluisi has been declared the winner of Puerto Rico’s gubernatorial race, with 33% of the vote. Standard Democratic Get together candidate Carlos Delgado Altierihas, who has conceded, acquired 31.5% of votes.

“Belief the transparency of the method, that each one the votes listed below are going to be counted,” New election fee President Francisco Rosado Colomer stated. “Your vote has weight and is legitimate for the fee.”

Though there are greater than three million U.S. residents on the island, none of Puerto Rico’s ballots have an effect on the U.S. presidential race. As a territory, it doesn’t assist decide the winner of the White Home.

Some in Puerto Rico have lengthy campaigned for statehood, by which case the island’s residents may weigh in on presidential contests. In a nonbinding referendum on this yr’s election, 52% of Puerto Rican residents favored statehood. Nevertheless, Congress would want to behave for the territory to develop into a state.

The opposite 4 U.S. territories — American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands — additionally don’t vote in federal presidential races.

Puerto Rico needed to droop its major elections earlier this yr when dozens of polling stations did not obtain their ballots in time.