GEC Certifies Calvo Victory; Gutierrez Will Challenge Outcome in Court

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Guam – The Guam Election Commission voted unanimous to certify the Gubernatorial results Saturday evening after an all day re-count that saw problems with the tabulation machines and stray ballots.

The final tally after the recount gave Calvo  20,066 votes, and Guiterrez got 19,579.

Calvo’s margin of victory shrank from 583 votes Wednesday to 487 after the Saturday recount as a result of the reconciliation process that the Guam Election Commission Board went through all day Saturday.

The tabulating machines were set to kick back “over-votes” and “under-votes” and damaged ballots.

An example of an “over-vote” would be a case where a voter not only filled in the oval to select one candidate, but also wrote in their candidates choice in the Write-In line. An “under-vote” or “blank ballot” example would be a ballot on which the impression of the penciled-in oval  beside the canidate of choice was too light for the tabulator to read.

Tuesday, these types of ballots were not counted in the vote total, Saturday they were. 

When the tabulator kicked out such ballots, they were sent to a reconciliation table and examined by both a Republican and a Democratic member of the Election Commission who sought to determine “voter intent.” If the GEC republican and democratic representatives at each table agreed on who the voter intended to cast their ballot for, then the ballot was added to the total count. That’s why th total number of votes rose after the recount. Gutierrez ended up getting more ballots than Calvo during that process.

However, Gutierrez Campaign Manager Bob Lizama issued a statement Saturday night saying “We will be filing a lawsuit to de-certify this on the basis of the scores of complaints we;ve already filed that have not been addressed by the Guam Election Commission. This election will be decided by the Courts.”