VIDEO: Gutierrez to Calvo – Audit of 2010 Election “Would Remove Unnecessary Doubt”

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Guam – Former Governor Carl Gutierrez has joined the frey over Governor Calvo’s veto of  the election reform measure, Bill #413.

In a letter to the Governor today [Wednesday] Gutierrez  explains that he is entering the debate because Governor Calvo chose to name him in his veto message.

He accuses Calvo of making the debate over the election reform bill “more about the two of us than the thousands of island residents who were purged from voter lists without due process,” and “the armed servicemen who cast ballots that were never counted.”

Gutierrez points out that the audit provision calling for a review of the 2010 election was passed without the objection of a single Republican Senator. Calvo narrowly defeated the former Governor in that election.

The former Governor writes that “unless the malpractice which has been entrenched in our elections becomes transparent and fully understood by the public, not only will our electoral process remain flawed, it will lack the full faith and confidence of our people.”

Gutierrez says he had “no hand in crafting the language contained within Bill 413”  but he calls the argument “that electoral audits are somehow harmful to our island is a charade.”

Election audits, says Gutierrez, “are a matter of common practice throughout the United States, especially in instances where the margin of victory is small.”

And the former Governor accuses Calvo’s legal team of standing “in the way of a court review of the 2010 election process”  and working to delay “an investigation of the 236 instances of vote buying” which, Gutierrez claims, are cases that have been proven by Calvo’s own campaign finance reports.

And while the former Governor says he disagrees with Calvo assertion that the audit provision in Bill #413 was a “hail Mary” pass to change the outcome of the election, Gutierrez asserts that  “instant replay like an election audit, promotes the integrity of the game, limits “mischief” and removes unnecessary doubt.”

READ former Governor Gutierrez’s letter to Governor Calvo in FULL below:

April 4th, 2012

The Honorable Eddie Baza Calvo
Governor of Guam
Ricardo J. Bordallo Governor’s Complex
Adelup, Guam 96910

Dear Governor Calvo:

While Bill 413-31(COR) has been the subject of a sometimes heated debate throughout our community, I have remained silent in the hope that you would place the public’s trust in the electoral process above any differences we might share. Sadly, this is not the case.

You chose to name me in a veto message; to make this measure more about the two of us than the thousands of island residents who were purged from voter lists without due process, the servicemen who cast ballots that were never counted in our local election, or the fact that, after hearing testimony by the Guam Election Commission, the audit provision which prompted your veto was passed without the objection of a single Republican Senator.

Though I had no hand in crafting the language contained within Bill 413, the argument that electoral audits are somehow harmful to our island is a charade. Electoral audits are a matter of common practice throughout the United States, especially in instances where the margin of victory is small.

Eleven months after a divided US Supreme Court stopped the 2000 Presidential election recount in Florida, a consortium of media outlets including the New York Times, MSNBC, and others conducted an independent audit of ballots cast for President in that state. The consortium found that while some ballots were cast illegally, many others were properly cast but never counted. It found that thousands of voters were wrongfully purged in areas which voted predominately for Democrats. And, in the end, this consortium discovered that in an election which was too close to call, Al Gore won, President Bush was certified, and the American voter lost.

In recent days, I have heard the assertion that an audit is meaningless because it will not alter the outcome of the election. But that is not the point.

Unless the malpractice which has been entrenched in our elections becomes transparent and fully understood by the public, not only will our electoral process remain flawed, it will lack the full faith and confidence of our people.

As you are well aware, your legal team has stood in the way of a court review of the 2010 election process at nearly every possible juncture. It has also worked to delay an investigation of the 236 instances of vote buying proven by your own campaign finance reports.

Though I disagree with your belief that a simple audit of election results is a “Hail Mary” pass, I invite you to watch any NFL game played after 1999, as an instant replay like an election audit, promotes the integrity of the game, limits “mischief” and removes unnecessary doubt. The definition of “instant replay” is: In American football, instant replay is a method of reviewing a play using various angles to determine the accuracy of the initial call of the officials. An instant replay can take place in the event of a close or otherwise controversial call, either at the request of a team’s head coach (with limitations) or the officials themselves.

Sincerely,
Carl T.C. Gutierrez