Commission Scrutinizing Approaching Guam Election

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Chairman skeptical of sudden increase in voter registrations

By Joy White

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, Nov. 1, 2012) – As the general election looms closer, members of the Guam Election Commission (GEC) are closely scrutinizing every detail of the upcoming election.

As of last night, a total of 50,700 voters have already registered with the commission.

GEC Executive Director Maria Pangelinan stated the GEC staff is working with the University of Guam to compile a master list of registered voters by this afternoon.

Joseph Mesa, chairman of GEC, expressed surprise about the increase in the number of registered voters since the primary election. He also pointed out some discrepancies in some of the reports.

"As many years I’ve been involved in elections – and I know that this registration period was not super busy – I’m wondering how we picked up 1,100 voters in so short a period of time. Somehow I’m not confident," Mesa stated.

Pangelinan assured the chairman that the staff is checking and re-checking the list. "We have been aggressive about finding all the errors," Pangelinan stated.

In addition, the commission has been double-, and even triple-, checking the inventory of ballots.

Christopher Carillo, GEC member, explained: "This is really important because in the last election we still don’t know how many ballots we had, how many ballots were cast, how many were printed. It led to questions and there are still questions surrounding that election. We just really need to make sure that we can be confident of the numbers."

Other concerns

During last night’s meeting, a concern was also brought up regarding several absentee off-island voters who did not receive their ballots.

Pangelinan said she had spoken to federal voting service agencies which stated that due to weather conditions and other complications, the ballots may have been delayed.

According to documents released last night, the number of off-island ballots received totaled 691, including 50 from UOCAVA, 53 from other off-island voters, 153 from homebound voters, 488 from in-office voters, and 162 from Guam Army National Guard members who will be deployed by the time of the election.

As of Monday, GEC was still short of 20 precinct officials, but as of last night only four precinct officials are now needed: two for Mangilao, one for Yigo, and one for Ordot-Chalan PÃ¥go.

GEC will reconvene Saturday morning at 9 a.m. to go over the final reports submitted by the executive director.

In-office voting will continue until Monday. Homebound voting will continue until Tuesday.

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