GEC to count 200 more ballots before certifying runoff result

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Guam Election Commission (PNC file photo)

Just when you thought you’d heard the last of this year’s election cycle, it turns out there are still some votes from the runoff election that still need to be counted.

The Guam Election Commission will be meeting today to count about 200 ballots for the election for Guam’s delegate to Congress.

The ballots come from off-island absentee ballots, ballots from home-bound voters on Guam, as well as provisional ballots.

There are so few ballots that they will be counted by hand.

Just setting up the machine to count ballots would take longer than a simple hand count.

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Although the ballots have not been counted, there are not enough to change the results of the election.

However, GEC director Maria Pangelinan says that every ballot must be counted regardless.

Some say this year’s runoff supports the argument that primaries for certain races should be done away with.

Pangelinan says that’s a question not for the election commission, but for the Legislature and the people of Guam.

“Is it a primary or runoff? Maybe that’s the deal we have to make. Do we give up the primaries and then have a runoff? And does that work for Guam? One of the things that you need to look at is how it happened. The reason the primary was canceled was to protect the island of Guam from the pandemic. And so with that said, the naysayers were saying, ‘well how come we don’t cancel the general?’ Well, Guam did not have a choice about canceling the general. With regard to your direct question about ‘Should we have a primary?’ That’s really a political question,” Pangelinan said.

GEC was required to check the post office today for more mail-in votes before certifying the runoff election.

The results will be certified during the election commission’s meeting this evening.

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