VIDEO: GEC Concerned About 2,369 Spoiled Ballots & Low Voter Turnout of 44%

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Guam- Official results show the Guam Election Commission (GEC) counted around 2,369 spoiled ballots in the September 1 Primary Election. 21,375 ballots were cast, which means voter turnout was around 44%. 54% of the ballots were for the Democrats, while 34% went to the Republicans.

 

But aside from the crossover votes and the expected low voter turnout, the heat inside the University of Guam (UOG) Field House left several GEC Commissioners wondering if that lead to some of the delays in counting the ballots efficiently.

 

When PNC spoke to GEC Board Member John Taitano around 3 a.m. Sunday morning, he told us he believed the warm temperature and humidity at the Field House could have played a factor in one of the tabulation machines not working before the counting and keeping precinct officials uncomfortable. He expected to be done with everything around 1:15 a.m..

“When the precinct workers were coming in the back door, it would have been nice for them to walk in and have an air conditioned place” said Taitano. “But before I say all that, I want to thank Dr. Underwood for allowing us to use the University of Guam. this is probably one of those things that may have been over looked, but I know we’ll get it fixed.”

One of the other problems at Election Central was how long it took for the manual tabulators to count the Public Auditor race. Executive Director Maria Pangelinan says the hand count took longer than expected, even when they had 6 teams of 3 counting in the early morning hours, instead of 5 teams.

“Now we have 6 teams of 3 and each team take one precinct at a time” said Pangelinan. “So as soon as all 3 of them come up with the right counts, it goes on and we’re finished with another precinct. So that’s been going on for a while.”

Pangelinan adds to address the low voter turnout and the large amount of spoiled ballots, they plan on launching a heavy educational campaign and also encourage more people to register to vote for the General Election.