CNMI Governor Encourages Everyone To Get Out And Vote

More than 27% of registered votes cast ballots during early voting

By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Nov. 8, 2016) – Governor Ralph D.L.G. Torres is encouraging registered voters to participate in the democratic process of electing their officials.

“I would like to ask everyone to vote Republican, but I understand we have a process so you decide who is worthy of your vote and confidence and who are the better candidates,” he said.

“But for honest election purposes, I would like to encourage every one in the CNMI who is able to vote to exercise the right to vote. Come out and be part of the process — be part of democracy…. At the end of the day, we elected officials are chosen by the people so our primary actions are for the people….”

Today, Tuesday, is Election Day which is also a holiday. The CNMI has 17,936 registered voters of whom over 5,000 cast early votes during the early-voting period.

On Monday, the governor and first lady Diann Torres were among those who cast their ballots on the last day of early voting.

The first couple arrived at the multi-purpose center at around 3:45 pm Monday and, according to the governor, it was his first time to vote early, adding that he and his wife prefer to “relax” on Election Day.

The governor noted the early voting turnout was very impressive, and because of it a lot of people were able to attend to personal errands and still vote.

“Some of our elders have dialysis schedules and they’re glad that they have an entire week to cast their votes. It’s also good for the candidates and the election commission. The polling centers on Election Day won’t be as ‘congested’ as they normally are.”

He is confident that the Republican administration’s candidates will fare well in the polls.

“We’ve looked at the numbers that came in during early voting and we are very optimistic that our candidates will do well,” he added.

On the last day of early voting, 712 votes were cast on Saipan. The figures for Tinian and Rota were not available as of press time Monday night.

On Election Day, today, the polling centers open at 7 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m.

Voters are required to present a picture ID to be allowed to vote in their respective precincts. According to a new law, absentee ballots returned 14 days after Election Day, Nov. 8, will still be counted.

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