VIDEO: GEC to Unseal 2010 Ballots in Compliance With Required Audit of That General Election

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Guam – On Monday the Guam Election Commission (GEC) will unseal and re-count the ballots cast in 5 precincts during the 2010 General Election.

2 precincts were deliberately chosen, 3 others were randomly picked. The ballot boxes from all the precincts have been under lock and seal for more than 2 years.

At their Board meeting Wednesday last night, GEC Executive Director Maria Pangelinan said Legal Counsel Jeff Cook had to answer the  question: “Can the GEC open the sealed envelopes of the cast ballots of the 2010 General Election?” The answer was “yes.”

 

The audit is requried by the Election Reform Law or Public Law 31-255. It started out as Bill 413, a measure that was vetoed by the Governor and then over-ridden by the legislature to become law.

The GEC Director says it will take about one week to hand count each of the ballots from each precinct. The hand counting will be done during work hours by the GEC staff. No one else will be allowed to count the ballots.

The law provides a 30 to 45 day window from date of enactment to complete the audit. The time limit will be exceeded, but Pangelinan says legal counsel advised that will not be a problem.

The GEC began the first part of  the 2010 General Election audit earlier this week when they started the recount of provisional and absentee ballots, and that is ongoing.

Senator Rory Respicio pushed for the override of the Governor’s veto of the election reform law and says he’s glad the audit is underway, emphasizing that it’s the result of the documented irregularities that occurred during the 2010 election.

The GEC Director also says she is concerned that the funding to pay for this audit has not yet been addressed. She says the GEC will probably run out of money sometime in the 3rd quarter of this fiscal year.

However Respicio says it can’t be blamed on the audit. If the GEC runs out of money, the Senator says it because of the high cost of the For-Profit Bingo initiative that wasn’t budgeted for.

The audit results will be posted on the GEC website and presented to the Governor, the Legislature and the media and it will help the GEC’s level of transparency. However, could it change the outcome of the General Election? Pangelinan said she doesn’t think so.

The GEC will reconvene on January 18 to check on the progress of the audit.

 

PANGELINAN NOTES 170

PROVISIONAL BALLOTS WERE DOCUMENTED…10 WERE COUNTED FOR THE GENERAL ELECTION…WITH 160 LEFT TO ANALYZE.