Guam- The Guam Election Commission Board of Directors reconvened its meeting on Wednesday to figure out how to resolve the absentee ballot dilemma they are facing.
GEC is in violation of federal law because it hasn’t mailed out absentee ballots at least 45 days before the General Election for the Guam Delegate race, which Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo is running unopposed. The federal requirement is under the Military and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (MOVE) for those in the service that are overseas. Officials say 185 people have requested for absentee ballots before September 18 or the original deadline absentee ballots were supposed to be mailed. The board is playing with the idea of sending the absentee ballots on October 1, which is the same day in-office voting starts.
The legal team for GEC is already in conversation with U.S. Attorneys on the matter. They will continue discussions at 8:30 am Thursday. Attorney Roland Mantanona says because GEC is in violation of the MOVE act, ligation is imminent to fix the problem. Mantanona adds this means some sort of consent decree or agreement will probably be reached with GEC and the Department of Justice. The U.S. Attorneys have already given GEC options, including the posting of the ballot for the Guam Delegate race online as a PDF file.
Meanwhile, the board on Wednesday also decided to separate the Guam Delegate race on a different ballot to protect the integrity of the local races. They also agreed GEC would use its current ballot stock to supplement the printing of the additional ballots. However, the ballot stock shipment for the General Election is still stuck in Hawaii. There was also discussion on waiting to certify the Guam Delegate results after the 45 day period is over.
The board still hasn’t made a decision on GEC’s eviction notice from the GCIC Building. That issue will be discussed in Executive Session.