GEC submits safety plan for general election

Guam Election Commission (PNC file photo)

The Guam Election Commission submitted to the Legislature this week its safety plan for the 2020 general election.

The commission’s safety plan outlines precautions to protect the voters, staff, and election workers from the COVID-19 virus while ensuring a fair, equal, and safe election.

Part of the plan is to open in-office absentee voting to all qualified voters applying in person at the GEC office in Hagåtña and at temporary satellite offices in select villages.

In-office absentee voting starts on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. GEC has reserved the 9 to 10 a.m. slot for manamko.

For the satellite locations, in-office absentee voting on Saturday starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.

GEC identified the Merizo Martyrs Memorial Elementary School; George Washington High School; D.L. Perez Elementary School; and Okkodo High School as satellite offices.

Maria Pangelinan, GEC executive director, said GEC is now taking appointments for in-office absentee voting.

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“When the Guam voter calls for an appointment, what happens is the application for in-office absentee voting gets filled out…that gets prefilled…so that is part of the process and takes anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes …if it needs to be filled out,” Pangelinan said.

GEC is taking every precaution to protect the voters and the community-at-large from the spread of COVID-19. Polling rooms will be disinfected before and after election day.

Sites 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.

Masks will also be required for entry to polling sites and will be provided as needed.