GEC: Safety measures in place for today’s election

the Guam Election Commission assures that their workers will be compensated for their services (Photo by Louella Losinio)

After going through a final dry-run last Sunday, the Guam Election Commission is all set for today’s general election.

However, unlike previous elections, the GEC this year, as an added layer of precaution, has instituted a safety plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the polling sites.

GEC Executive Director Maria Pangelinan says the election commission has done everything that it can do to make sure that the community can safely vote.

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GEC’s safety plan for the elections include the following:

  • Polling rooms will be disinfected before and after Election Day.
  • Polling sites and polling rooms will be equipped with disinfecting solution to sanitize frequently touched surfaces before and after every voter, including but not limited to, door handles, voting booths, tables, and pens.
  • Restrooms at polling sites will be monitored and cleaned throughout the day.
  • Voters will be encouraged to bring a blue or black ink pen.
  • Masks will be required for entry to polling sites. Masks will be provided as needed.
  • DPHSS posters on mitigation measures will be displayed throughout polling sites.
  • Precinct officials and voters will be screened upon entering the polling site.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) (face shields, masks, and gloves) will be provided for all election workers.

No hospitality tents

This year GEC also worked with the Democratic Party of Guam and the Republican Party of Guam — and discouraged both political parties from setting up hospitality tents outside of the polling sites.

Alternate polling rooms have also been designated to minimize crowds. Also, poll workers were trained to implement COVID-19 measures.

Pangelinan assured that they have enough election workers to cover the polling sites.

Meanwhile, GEC has 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.

As of the weekend, more than 12,500 have already voted in-office, curbside, or at the satellite locations.

According to Pangelinan, while curbside voting is available at the polling sites, they are asking that it be reserved for manamko, persons with disabilities or those who are medically challenged.

For those who are planning to vote today, Pangelinan said the polling sites will be open at 7 a.m.

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