Runoff could prompt 18-day transition

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Now here’s a swift peak at the general election ballot, and a look at what’s in store if the election commission is forced to conduct a runoff…

Guam – While the question of the day may be “who’ll be Guam’s next governor?”, lest we forget, there are 30 candidates vying for 15 seats in the legislature, two contenders competing for one chair in Congress, another pair dueling for the Attorney General’s Office, four incumbents wanting to stay on the Guam Education Board, four hopefuls bidding for three seats in the Consolidated Commission on Utilities, and a justice and a judge gunning for retention at the local courthouse.

Yes, the heat is on in so many more ways than one.

But the most combustible race is the governor’s election. Two certified candidates and a declared write-in. Assuming Frank Aguon’s command of thousands of votes holds through Tuesday’s election, automatic tabulation machines will be stopping and starting constantly.

Election Commissioner Kin Perez tells PNC it will take each machine seven seconds to stop and start every time it detects a write-in. That would add up to hours of additional tabulation time—and keeping commission staffers engaged well past dawn. Some wouldn’t be surprised if commissioners stay put counting at least till lunchtime.

If Aguon’s write-ins splinter the vote with enough impact to force a runoff, Perez says voters are looking at a holiday-season election and will be lucky to have a certified governor by December 20. That would leave a mere 18 days for a transition of power at Adelup.

Keep your ink wet and your powder dry, Guam. And vote like you really mean it.