Bill to cancel primary fails; absentee voter measure passed

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The 2020 Primary Election will be held as scheduled.

Guam lawmakers this afternoon rejected a measure that would have cancelled the August 29th Primary.

Bill 375-35 was a bipartisan measure introduced by Republican James Moylan and Democrat Therese Terlaje. Senators Mary Torres and Telo Taitague were the only other senators to join them in voting for it.

10 other senators voted against it. Sen. Telena Nelson had an excused absence.

Sen. Moylan said his primary goal was to protect public health by limiting crowding at the polling places in light of the ongoing pandemic. He also cited costs savings.

Opponents however said canceling the primary would not save money or protect public health because it would likely lead to a run-off race for the delegates seat … after the general election.

It could also have resulted in the election of some mayors with as little as 20-percent of the vote.

The opponents prevailed.

Moylan Statement

Following the vote Senator Moylan issued a statement saying, in part, “While I am certainly disappointed with the outcome of the votes associated with Bill 375-35, I do respect the decision made by a majority of my colleagues, and with that I look forward to a safe and successful Primary Election.”

Absentee voting:

Also approved was Senator Kelly Marsh’s bill permitting absentee voting for all qualified voters in both the General and Primary elections this year in order to avoid the risk of catching COVID-19.

All 14 senators present voted in favor of Bill 330-35, including senator Mary Torres who yesterday questioned the need for it. Senator Nelson was granted an excused absence.

Marsh Statement

Senator Marsh issued a statement on the passage of her bill saying, in part, “Bill 330 helps ensure that our community does not have to choose between voting, staying healthy, or dealing with other related issues. It addresses COVID-19 related concerns and goes even further. By giving voters the option to cast their ballots during a 30 day period.”

Appointments confirmed:

In addition to passing 2 bills senators approved 7 nominations to various boards and agencies.

  1. The nomination of Jillette T. Leon Guerrero to serve as Director of the Council on the Arts & Humanities Agency (CAHA). *Placed on Session Agenda and Confirmed – 7/17/20
  2. The nomination of Joseph D. Certeza to serve as a Member of the Guam Council on the Arts & Humanities Agency, Board of Directors. *Placed on Session Agenda and Confirmed – 7/17/20
  3. The nomination of Monica Giger to serve as a Youth Member of the Department of Parks and Recreation.*Placed on Session Agenda and Confirmed – 7/17/20
  4. The nomination of Janalynn C. Damian to serve as a Member of the Guam Board of Equalization. *Placed on Session Agenda and Confirmed – 7/17/20
  5. The nomination of Felicitas Angel to serve as a Member (Retired Teacher/School Administrator of GDOE Representative) of the Guam Education Board. *Placed on Session Agenda and Confirmed – 7/17/208.
  6. The nomination of Nan “William” Li to serve as a Member (Business Representative) of the Guam Public Library System, Board of Directors. *Placed on Session Agenda and Confirmed – 7/17/20
  7. The nomination of Jeanette R. Yamashita to serve as a Member of the Guam Academy Charter Schools Council. *Placed on Session Agenda and Confirmed – 7/17/20

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