by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The Guam Election Commission's board of directors will meet on Tuesday afternoon to certify the results of the Decision 2010 Primary Election and discuss other issues as they prepare for the General Election in November. Surprising numbers from Super Saturday could impact future elections on Guam.
A little more than 25,000 of the island's 50,000 registered voters came out to vote this past weekend. GEC Executive Director John Blas had hoped voter turnout would be closer to 70-75% instead it was only 58%. While there were no major problems to report from the Primary, the Commission did experience a few minor glitches that included precinct officials not showing up, polling sites opening late, and disputes over registered voters.
"We will continue to strive to get out as much voter information, voter education. I will definitely put more emphasis on training precinct officials because the general election is coming up. We don't have that much time to prepare. So we are going to begin immediately in terms of what we need to address in terms of some of the issues that came up during the Primary Election," Blas told KUAM News.
The other big issue, Blas says, is the number of spoiled ballots during the Primary. Despite public outreach encouraging voters to stay on one side of the ballot, more than 14% of those voters who came out spoiled their ballot by crossing-over.
"I'm almost at a loss for words, because I know every opportunity I get, that's all I say. We put out press releases that say exactly that. Our friends in the media continue that emphasis on crossing-over, so again, I don't know if it's human nature to purposely stand in line and cast a crossover ballot, which would not be tabulated," he expressed.
4,150 spoiled ballots could have had an impact on the results of the Primary Election. Now as they move forward with closing out the books on last Saturday's Primary and preparing for November, the Commission must also deal with a pending eviction notice with their landlord, Guam Capital Investment Corporation.
"As a board," continued the executive director, "they will determine what the next move for the GEC in terms of what we need to communicate with the landlord." He added, "The inventory of office space within the Government of Guam is not there and if there was any, it wouldn't be sufficient for the GEC to operate out of, it may not be conducive, the board will discuss that."
Blas says moving out now would make preparing for the General Election extremely difficult as in-office voting begins in less than a month.