Guam – Democratic Party Executive Director Carlo Branch is disappointed with the Guam Election Commission’s decision to cut the 2010 General Election audit short saying it’s apparent now that they are “playing with a stacked deck”.
However, GEC Executive Director Maria Pangelinan says that the first precinct recount showed no real difference.
“Certain members of the commission three Republicans and one Independent obviously do not want to continue with the audit in the manner originally intended by the legislature,” said Branch in reference to several decisions made by GEC’s board for example the decision to cut the audit short if the variance between the recount and the original count is less than ten percent. “Well I need to remind everyone that this election was won by about 1 percent or less,” said Branch.
GEC Executive Director Maria Pangelinan says the board decided to cut the recount shortly after the GEC recounted a precinct in Yona and found very minimal differences. “Anywhere from no difference between the hand count and machine count and I believe it was three or five the differences between the votes in any of the races that was the biggest difference and inside a hand count versus a machine count that’s very very very appropriate and very acceptable,” said Pangelinan.
However Branch says in an election this close all they are looking for are small differences throughout the precincts which would affect the outcome such a close election. Branch is also disappointed that they have opted not to count all the precincts that had problems as reported by the GEC’s own special committee. “These issues were in Tamuning they were in parts of Barrigada and they were in Yigo the Republican commissioners have at every juncture in this saga attempted to slow the process in my opinion attempted to taint the process by inaction and have just wanted to avoid counting the most number of ballots because they are happy with the outcome,” said Branch.
Pangelinan says the reason they decided not to count all three villages with noted discrepancies is because the election reform law that mandated this recount in the first place didn’t mention or require a count of these villages. “It was pointed out by the commissioners themselves that the intent of the reform law only mentions two precincts none of the other so the only two precincts mentioned in the intent of the reform law is 15B and C hence that’s why they were picked,” explained Pangelinan.
The GEC Executive Director says that they completed the counting of the provisional ballots and found that 19 votes were for Calvo/Tenorio and 22 were for Guttierez/Aguon. the board is currently in a meeting at this hour.