A judge in Puerto Rico has upheld a decision to allow bedridden voters to mail in their ballots for the first time as the U.S. territory prepares for next month's general elections.

Bedridden voters previously had to cast their votes while being monitored by two members of different political parties.

The widely criticized decision comes as authorities uncover dozens of cases of pre-election fraud including dead people being added to voter registration lists.

Officials with the opposition Popular Democratic Party say they plan to file an appeal this week in hopes of striking down Monday's ruling.

The complaint has led the elections commission to delay issuing ballots to an estimated 17,000 bedridden voters. In the Nov. 6 elections, Puerto Ricans will choose a governor, legislators and mayors.