Early Voting Begins In CNMI: Polling Locations Not Crowded

581 voters on day one called a 'good turnout'

By Ferdie De La Torre 

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Nov. 2, 2016) – The seven-day early voting period started yesterday with no crowding, as 581 voters trooped to designated polling places on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.

According to Commonwealth Election Commission executive director Julita A. Villagomez and CEC administrative officer Kayla Igitol, the first day of early voting went smoothly on the three islands.

On Saipan, 449 voted at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe. On Tinian and Rota, 69 and 63 voted, respectively, at the islands’ Department of Public Safety buildings.

Considering that it’s a midterm election, the 581 voters that came in during the first day of the early voting is a good turnout, Villagomez and Igitol said.

At the gubernatorial election in 2014, the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center was swarmed with voters during the first day of early voting. In that election, 591 voted on Saipan, 29 on Tinian, and 36 on Rota, for a total of 656 early voters.

As of 11pm yesterday, there were already 120 who have voted at the Multi-Purpose Center.

A check by Saipan Tribune yesterday morning and afternoon showed no long lines at the Multi-Purpose Center.

Igitol said there was no crowding in the morning as voters came slowly and not en masse.

“It’s slow. It’s good for us. I think people know already that early voting is seven days,” Igitol said.

Igitol said they have not heard of any problem with the early voting on Tinian and Rota.

CEC expected a large turnout at yesterday’s start of early voting on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.

Jennifer Cabrera, a voter from Precinct 5 or the Kagman area, said it’s her first time to try early voting after learning about this program.

Cabrera said she is glad that CEC changed the way of voting.

“It’s easier and faster,” she said.

Raymond Peter, 26, an aircraft service agent, said it’s his second time to avail of the early voting program.

“Early voting is better. It’s fast and there are less people,” said Peter, who is a voter of Precinct 3A or the San Jose area.

The second day of early voting will continue today, Wednesday, from 8:30am to 4pm.

Saipan Tribune
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