Republican senator James Moylan has issued a statement calling for the postponement of the primary election, not its cancellation, in order to protect the more than 2,200 votes that have already been cast under the Guam Election Commission’s in-house absentee voting program.
Last month Moylan introduced Bill 375, which was co-sponsored by Senator Therese Terlaje with the intent of canceling the 2020 primary election. The key objective of the measure was to address the healthcare concerns with this pandemic, and thus allowing the Guam Election Commission and Guam Legislature ample time to plan for a safe and successful General Election. The measure failed 4-10.
“With less than a week to go before the primary election, both the Governor and the Speaker have now raised the very health concerns that Bill 375 outlined last month and are proposing to cancel the primary election altogether. I am glad that they are finally recognizing our position from July, however, my concern is that this decision is a very last-minute reaction which would endorse voter suppression,” Moylan said.
He added that the situation has changed much since Bill 375 was introduced and then defeated, as over 2,200 residents have already cast their votes via early office voting. Moylan said canceling the election altogether would essentially be sending a message that those who already cast their votes don’t matter, which is why he is not in favor of cancellation.
Here’s GEC executive director Maria Pangelinan on who decides the postponement or cancellation of the primary election (interview with K57’s Patti Arroyo)
Moylan agrees that the primary election should not proceed as scheduled for Aug. 29, 2020 as it is just a day away from the governor lifting an extensive stay-at-home executive order. But he is proposing the following:
- Postponing the 2020 Primary Election until September 12, 2020, which is an option provided by the Guam Election Commission.
Requesting that the Governor exempt the Guam Election Commission from any extensive Executive Order to allow the continuation of a safe curbside and/or in-office voting process until the Primary Election.
Requesting that the Governor activate the National Guard to provide support (inclusive of a generator for Election Night headquarters) for a safe Election Day.
Providing the Guam Election Commission additional time to address the concerns outlined in their letter to the Governor on Friday, August 21, 2020.
Requesting that the Governor sign an Executive Order prohibiting any hospitality tents or other electioneering activity outside of the precincts for this Primary Election.
“Canceling the primary election altogether has grave consequences, and this Legislature had the opportunity to address what was expected when Bill 375 was up for discussions back in July. The situation has changed since, and we must find a solution for a safe and fair election process for everyone,” Moylan stressed.