Guam – The Calvo/Tenorio campaign filed a formal complaint with the Guam Election Commission this morning over an alleged attempt by Department of Agriculture Director Joe Torres to cast a second ballot. Torres however says these accusations are completely false and the GEC assures the public that no one has voted twice.
We asked Torres, “There are reports coming in that you may have tried to vote twice now tell us what happened this morning,” to which he replied, “Do I look stupid to vote twice?” Torres added, “I’m hurt at the two people I’ve supported over the years lodging that complaint and I’m hurt at the attorney who filed that complaint who represents me in another case so that’s an ethics issue I let the bar take car of that.”
Torres is referring to the allegations that he attempted to vote twice at the Tamuning precinct. Torres had already cast an absentee ballot as he is one of the thousands of voters who took advantage of in-office early voting. He says he went there to make sure that his name had been crossed off the voter registry list and it turns out it wasn’t. “I was correcting the system i just wanted to make sure that the election commission register had crossed my name off and indicated that I had pre-voted and that’s all i wanted to clarify i don’t want anybody to think i was going in there to vote twice that’s ludicrous.”
So why was his name not crossed off the list? GEC Executive Director John Blas says it’s because the precinct officials are not allowed to process the absentee ballots until election day and basically they are processing them as the polls open. “The precinct officials are trying to get to that as soon as possible at the same time they are getting complaints from the voters who are standing in line because they are trying to process these absentee ballots,” explained Blas.
Blas says there is a fail safe that ensures that no one votes twice. “Let’s just say that a precinct official has not processed an in-office absentee ballot and this person is there and he actually signs off and he’s issued a ballot and he casts that when those precinct officials actually go back to process that absentee ballot they would’ve seen that the voter actually came in the name was lined out and there was a signature so what they would do is they would cancel that absentee ballot,” explained Blas.
The GEC Executive Director adds that if it is determined that anyone has attempted to vote twice the matter will be forwarded to their board as it is something that is punishable by law.