GEC all set for runoff; more than 5000 have already voted

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Today is the big day.

It’s the day voters decide which candidate will become Guam’s delegate to Congress

The runoff election is being held to decide who will be Guam’s next Guam delegate —Dr. Robert Underwood or incumbent Michael San Nicolas.

Republican candidate Wil Castro was eliminated during the three-way race for Congressman during the general election.

Castro recently announced he’ll vote for Underwood.

Since the two remaining candidates are both Democrats, both the Republican and Democratic parties of Guam have declined to endorse either one, but have encouraged everyone to come out and vote.

Maria Pangelinan told K57’s Patti Arroyo Monday morning that so far, more than 5,000 people have already cast their ballots.

Early voting started last week.

Although there has been a high volume of voters each day, Pangelinan attributes this to the short window of time available to vote in the runoff.

The general election had a 45-day window to vote but the runoff has a window of about one week.

Pangelinan says her commissioners predict a 40 to 45 percent voter turnout.

This would be even less than for the general election, which had a 52% turnout, a historically low participation rate for the island.

Guam has more than 55,800 registered voters.

Pangelinan says that after a week of early voting, people still ask her why a runoff is necessary.

Pangelinan says that legally..the island has no choice in the matter.

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“They’ve asked me many times … why do you have to have a runoff? I said just like the general … the runoff … both of them are required by federal law. Guam doesn’t have the opportunity to cancel it. So with the pandemic..at this time I think Guam’s hands are tied. The election must go on. And believe me, it’s been difficult. But we’re doing our best to keep it going,” Pangelinan said.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Curbside voting is available at all 22 voting sites.

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