Court Orders Extension of Deadline For Submission of Absentee Ballots In Guam Delegate Race

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Guam- The District Court of Guam has extended the deadline for submission of absentee ballots in the Guam Delegate’s race until November 15th. No local contest is affected by the ruling.

The ruling follows a lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) against the Guam Election Commission (GEC) after the GEC failed to send absentee ballots out to Guam Service members stationed overseas 45 days before the November 2 General Election as required by Federal Law.

Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood granted DOJ’s request for the permanent injunction and declared that the Guam Election Commission had violated the Uniformed Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA).

Read the Court’s Order

The court ordered the extension to allow UOCAVA voters more time to get their ballots in.

Legal Counsel Rawlen Mantanona says there was no opposition from GEC and he said the order was necessary in order to ensure that compliance with the Federal Law wouldn’t create a violation of local election law.

“The court was very understanding and the court granted the order as we all expected it to and now that we can, we can go further on” said Mantanona. “And the judge, upon our request, will make it clear in the order that this only affects the Congresswoman’s race. The UOCAVA doesn’t have no real effect on the local races that are being conducted.”

GEC was 13 days late in sending out and electronically transmitting absentee ballots for the Guam Delegate race. Again, the court order in no way affects the local races for the November 2 General Election.

Meanwhile, GEC has postponed its Board of Directors meeting until Thursday, October 14 at 4pm.