Losing Guam Gubernatorial Candidates Asks For Election Audit

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Gutierrez ‘trying to guarantee … integrity of the election’

By Shawn Raymundo

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Nov. 11, 2014) – In a six-page letter sent to the Guam Election Commission yesterday, the chairman of former Gov. Carl Gutierrez's campaign requested that the commission conduct a manual audit of last Tuesday's election ballots.

Joaquin Perez, chairman of the Gutierrez election committee, cited several manufacturing issues with the Election Systems and Software machines used to tabulate the votes. He also questioned if the devices were monitored using surveillance cameras and if there was an adequate police presence securing the University of Guam Calvo Field House the night before the election.

"The only thing we're trying to guarantee is the integrity of the election," Perez said at the campaign headquarters in Hagåtña.

According to the unofficial election results, Democratic candidates Gutierrez and Garry Gumataotao received 35.97 percent of the vote while their Republican opponents, Gov. Eddie Calvo and Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio, received 63.69 percent.

"If we picked up only 36 percent of the votes, the increase from the primary to the general election was almost minimal," Perez said. "With the kind of response we were receiving toward the end of the campaign, there's no possible way we would not move from our primary numbers substantially."

Perez called on the GEC to conduct a public hearing to audit the unofficial results of at least 10 precincts, which the commission would select randomly by using a lottery process.

If the results of the audit reveal discrepancies of 0.5 percent, then a second audit should be done, Perez said. If after two audits there remains a discrepancy of 0.5 percent, than a full audit should be conducted.

Based on historical figures, it is unlikely for gubernatorial candidates to lose in every precinct, Perez said, who has been involved in Guam elections since 1964. Perez also pointed out that there was substantial support for Democrats in the election as the party retained control of the Guam Legislature with a 9-6 vote.

"I'm concerned about the numbers because I've never seen numbers like this," Perez said. "I've been involved in every gubernatorial election there has been. I have never seen numbers like this."

In the letter, Perez advocated for the GEC to begin a mandatory audit after every election.

"I'm pretty used to losing," Perez said. "If it is going to be a loss, then let it be honest."

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