Guam – Cries of “Maga! Haga!” are likely to be heard in the halls of the Election Commission tonight, as commissioners prepare to certify Guam’s general election. By a little later this evening Guam may have its first Female Governor.
It may be a GovGuam Holiday today, but the Guam Election Commission convened this morning to count 292 absentee and provisional ballots that have kept two wishful thinkers from conceding. Prior to the count, the GEC discussed a variety of issues. Among matters discussed: there was a complaint from former candidate for Congress Jonathan Diaz who claims that Congressional Candidates used campaign funds for other purposes than campaigning, the Commission also discussed a bill that outgoing senator Fernando Esteves plans to introduce regarding election reform which would allow independent candidates to go straight to the general election. GEC Commissioner Kin Perez said write ins and independents have caused unnecessary headache for the GEC during this election and urged the GEC to look into putting a separate third column on the ballot. The GEC will be giving its current tabulators to the CNMI and will be acquiring new machines, which will allow ballots to be redesigned to allow for that third column.
The election Commission will also be asking for a supplemental budget from the legislature to pay vendors and give raises to GEC staff. GEC Executive Director Maria Pangelinan says checks are ready for pick up for precinct officials who worked tirelessly to ensure a smooth election. While checks have been made available, less than half of all precinct officials have actually picked up their checks.
Commissioners opened all mailed in absentee ballots as well as provisional ballots. Based on a Summary Report that was run shortly before lunch, of the 292 absentee and provisional ballots, Lou Leon Guererro/Tenorio received 175 votes, while the team of Tenorio/Ada only received 68 votes. There were also 41 write-in votes. Based on that, GEC Executive Director Maria Pangelinan tells SMG that there will be no gubernatorial runoff.
PNC also spoke with Independent Commissioner Pat Civille, who said commissioners intend to continue counting until around 6 or 7 PM, and that hopefully by then results will be certified. Commissioners are expected to certify votes in all general election categories today, including results in gubernatorial, legislative, congressional, attorney general, judicial retention, Guam Education Board, and Consolidated Commission on Utilities races. Due to the less than 2% margin between the 15th place winner and the 16th placer in the race for 15 seats in the legislature, Guam law requires an automatic recount.
While the Democratic Party declared itself victorious in the Gubernatorial Race earlier this month, and the Leon Guererro/Tenorio team have heeded the people’s choice and accepted the responsibility govern, the gubernatorial team of Tenorio/Ada has refused to concede until after the results are certified. Tenorio Ada in the General Election only received 26.41% of the votes. Based on the summary issued shortly before 1 PM, Tenorio Ada’s 68 votes chalked up to only 23.94% of the 284 viable votes, while Leon Guerrero Tenorio’s 175 votes made up 61.62 % of 284. Out of 292 ballots, 8 ballots were not counted because one voter over voted and 7 under voted.
PNC has confirmed that Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio travelled off-island earlier this week. We reached out to Adelup spokeswoman Oyaol Ngirarikl asking whether the Lt. Governor plans to concede. Ngirarikl stated she would reach out to Tenorio. BOTA spokeswoman Tina Blaz said a statement is forthcoming.