GEC jam-packed with in-office voters - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GEC jam-packed with in-office voters

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by Janjeera Hail

Guam - With polls set to open bright and early on Tuesday morning, voters are eager to have their voices heard and the campaigns are working hard to make sure it happens. The hallway outside the Guam Election Commission was packed today, as island residents scrambled to submit ballots on the last day of early in-office voting. 

And with more than 3,400 votes already cast, what's going to stop them from voting again tomorrow? According to GEC Executive Director John Blas, the agency has a strict protocol to ensure that early voters don't have their votes counted twice.

Blas says all the early ballots have remained sealed and will be delivered to their respective districts tomorrow morning.  Precinct officials have been instructed that their first order of business will be to process them, just as if the voter was there at the precinct.  "The precinct official will announce the voter's name, will look for the voter's name on the original voter signature roster, will line that voter's name out then in the signature line write voted absentee and then they will remove the ballot envelope inside that affidavit envelope and insert it into the ballot box," he explained.

Meanwhile, the Commission is also going out to the villages and administering homebound voting for those residents who filed by Friday's deadline. KUAM News has received calls from residents concerned that the Commission may not make it to all homebound residents, but Blas says they're doing everything they can to reach out to the estimated 200 people who applied for the service.  

Said Blas, "We've taken care of a majority of those. Again, we're hoping to wrap up that process today and it's more than likely we will be servicing those voters that are at the hospital and the Skilled Nursing Unit tomorrow."

But if GEC officials weren't able to make it to your home, there are still options.  If you can get a ride to the polling sites, officials can bring the ballot to your car and administer the curbside voting process. And if you can't get a lift, both gubernatorial teams are providing free rides. 

Gutierrez/Aguon campaign chairman Bob Lizama told KUAM News, "Our main objective is to ensure we get the numbers out, get the voters out to the polls and if they are carless and unable to get there, that's why we provide that service."

That sentiment was echoed at the Calvo/Tenorio Headquarters.  Campaign official Phil Leon Guerrero said, "We don't feel that just because you have transportation concerns or you need bussing it doesn't mean you shouldn't have the opportunity to vote. It is a very big right."

For more information you can call the Gutierrez/Aguon headquarters at 479-2010 or the Calvo/Tenorio headquarters at 472-8683.

Polls open tomorrow at 7am, and voters are reminded to bring a photo ID with them to the polls, which close at 8pm.

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