GEC all set for general election

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All three tabulating machines were cleared by election officials on Sunday. (PNC photo)

The Guam Election Commission declared Sunday’s test election a success after all of its three vote-counting machines passed the test run. 

As part of the process, a test deck of around 800 ballots passed through each of the tabulating machines — named Tå, Kin, and Flynn — to ensure votes will be accurately tallied on election day Tuesday. 

At the start of the test run on Sunday, election officials ‘zeroed out’ the machines to make sure that there are no recorded ballot counts. All 7 election commissioners are required to sign off on the record before running the test deck. 

GEC Executive Director Maria Pangelinan said, “So all 800 plus ballots are run at every machine. The next thing that they do — the commissioners compare the results of all three machines. They should all be the same and that is what we found. Hence, the test election was successful.”

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After the test run, Pangelinan said the election commission will be taking care of homebound voters today until Tuesday.

Those who are unable to vote at the polls because of an illness or physical disability may vote via homebound service. According to Pangelinan, over the weekend, GEC serviced homebound voters at GRMC and GMH.

“We are still working with homebound voters. We started to service homebound voters who are isolated at home — who are either COVID positive or quarantined because of contact. We will be servicing the isolation facilities and quarantine facility,” she said.

Meanwhile, Pangelinan said GEC has already received 12,227 in-office, 558 homebound, and 123 off-island ballots, as of Sunday.

The early voting numbers represent more than 20 percent of Guam’s current number of registered voters. As of Oct 15, there are 55,542 registered voters on island, according to GEC.

Voting on Tuesday

But for those who are planning to vote on Tuesday, Pangelinan said the polling sites will be open at 7 a.m.

Currently, there are 67 precincts and 22 polling sites all over Guam.

“We will open at 7 o’clock in the morning on Tuesday, November 3rd for the General Election. Please be assured that Guam Election Commission has done everything that we can do with the resources to make sure that you are safe, the voters are safe, the precinct officials are safe, and everybody that comes into the polling sites are safe,” Pangelinan said. 

“We will have curbside voting available at all the precincts. We ask that that be reserved for persons with disabilities..for the manamko and the persons who are medically challenged. We anticipate that there will be long lines,” she added.