Commission preps for primary election

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“Be safe, stay dry, go vote!” That’s the word from Guam Election Commission Executive Director Maria Pangelinan as the Commission staff hunkers down for this Saturday’s primary election.

Guam – If you’ve been out there in the splash and drizzle this week, you know what it’s like, and you’re not alone. The Guam Election Commission has sent brave balloteers into the deluge to help the homebound vote early, a few days before the weekend primary.

GEC Executive Director Maria Pangelinan says the show must go on, rain or shine. “As we speak, we have two teams out their trying to brave the rain, and currently we have a team out in Malesso, and we are closely watching them as they enter the flooded areas of Malesso,” she said. The pair reportedly got stuck in the flooding, but Pangelinan revealed they’d been rescued by a Guam Waterworks crew soon thereafter.

The executive director said if you’re homebound and can’t get to your designated polling site this Saturday, please call the Election Commission at +1 (671) 477-9791, right away. That way a GEC homebound voting team can visit and allow you to vote. The Election Commission has been juggling limited resources through heavy rains and floods and wants to ensure the elective franchise is extended to all registered voters, including hospital-bound voters at Guam Memorial, as well as Guam Regional Medical City.

On Election Day, GEC staff will provide curbside voting services for registered voters who have transportation to designated polling sites, but who experience trouble getting out of their vehicles and voting inside polling stations.

Pangelinan says 54,033 voters are registered for Saturday’s primary. If you’ve yet to register, registration resumes the Monday after the primary, for anyone still wishing to vote in the general.

A test election will be conducted at 6:00 p.m. this  Thursday at the University of Guam Calvo Field House to make sure  all systems  are ‘go’ for this Saturday’s vote.

Pangelinan cites two top rules to keep in mind while voting this weekend: (1) no electioneering and (2) no picture-taking at polling stations. Keep all electioneering at least a hundred feet outside polling site vehicular entrances.

Finally, the executive director assures the voting public that no private security personnel will be allowed to participate at any point in securing ballot chain of custody; that by authority of law, the Guam Police Dept. will provide sole ballot security on primary election day, Saturday, August 25.

PNC: “Will any private security be allowed to get anywhere near the ballots [at] any point in [the] chain of custody?”

PANGELINAN: “The Guam Election Commission continues to partner with the Guam Police Department—and only the Guam Police Department—and this has been going on since 2012, and even before.”