Bill introduced to cancel primary, allow mail-in voting; session on Aug. 27

Vice Speaker Tina Muna Barnes (PNC file photo)

Speaker Tina Muña Barnes Sunday morning introduced a measure allowing for the cancellation of the upcoming 2020 Primary Election and to allow for mail-in voting.

Last month, the Guam Election Commission stated that they were capable of executing the 2020 Primary Elections. However, due to Guam being placed under a stay home order and Pandemic Condition of Readiness I, the Guam Election Commission has informed the Guam Legislature that they are no longer able to carry out an election as planned without putting the lives of thousands of residents at risk.

Just this week, Guam has seen a spike of COVID-19 cases locally, suggesting that there is a rampant community spread of the virus.

“In order to keep our healthcare facilities from reaching their breaking point and to ensure the safety of our residents as well as election personnel, we must take action to ensure that safeguards are put in place” stated Speaker Muña Barnes. “We also need to be proactive so that in the General Election, residents can feel safe exercising their right to vote and that is why I included a mail-in provision in this measure” concluded Speaker
Muña Barnes.

While this matter requires immediate action, upon the directive of the Department of Public
Health and Social Services, and the advice of legal counsel, the Guam Legislature has been
directed to not resume in person until August 27th, 2020.

Due to an Organic Act provision, the Guam Legislature is unable to take action on matters virtually. “While we are still waiting on test results for all our employees, I commit to calling an Emergency Session on August 27th 2020 to address this matter,” the Speaker said.

(Speaker TMB News Release)