GEC Ties Up Lose Ends From Primary; Looks Ahead to General; & Looks for New Office Space

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Guam- The Guam Election Commission Board of Directors met Wednesday evening to discuss the format of the General Election and tie up loose ends with the September 4 Primary Election.

During the first part of the meeting, the board couldn’t decide on what to do with GEC’s rental issue at the GCIC building. Board member and former senator Marth Ruth suggested to declare an emergency and ask the Department of Administration to appropriate 3 months worth of rent so GEC can stay in its current space and conduct the General Election.

Executive Director John Blas was directed by the board to communicate with DOA and the GCIC landlord. However, Blas stated to members that “we’re not in a position to be here any longer than we have to.” The discussion was eventually moved to Executive Session.

The GEC board also discussed the issue of absent precinct officials during the Primary Election. They are in the process of creating a no-show list to vacate previously filled positions and also a standby list in case officials don’t show up during the General Election. Members also talked about DOA having a cash issue paying precinct officials.

Members are planning to review their  strategy next week for re-opening ballot boxes on October 7 for statisical purposes and finding out the cause of the over 4,100 spoiled ballots in the Primary Election.

The board also voted not to have an election for the Guam Education Board based on the new public law. Members discussed this would mean the Governor would have to appoint vacant positions until the 2012 election. In addition, the board voted to have a separate ballot for the Vice Mayoral race in Agat.

The final format of the General Election ballot will include slots for write-in candidates and reconfirming dates, such as the start of in-office voting (October 1) and the deadline to register (October 12).

The meeting was recessed until Monday at 4 pm.  Candidates also drew numbers for the General Election after the discussions were over.