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GEC discusses lease, election complaints

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by Janjeera Hail

Guam - The Guam Election Commission's board of directors reconvened Friday afternoon to try and reach resolutions on a number of issues. GEC Executive Director John Blas reported to the board on the review of bids for new office space.  The Commission's lease is up on December 31, but it appears the agency will likely stay in the GCIC Building in Hagatna. 

What's not clear is if that'll be with a new lease or as a holdover tenant. 

GCIC's current proposal would allow the GEC to stay in its current office on the 2nd floor (about 2,600 square feet), but would also provide an additional 1,100 square feet of space. It's just not clear where in the GCIC Building that space would be or whether the Guam Legislature will appropriate an additional $6,000 a month to the GEC so that they'll be able to afford the space which is now outside their budget. 

The board wants Blas to see if the bid can be negotiated and whether a tour of the proposed space can be provided.

The Complaints Subcommittee also gave their report - they'll be sending letters in response to each of the 43 complaints the GEC has received since the Decision 2010 General Election. Since the last meeting, the subcommittee has reviewed the affidavit envelopes - that's part of their investigation into why there were 100 fewer signatures in the voter log than there were early votes.

The committee found that a total of 73 registered voters had tried to vote but, for some reason or other, were not able to.  While some errors were not the fault of the Commission - like voters forgetting to sign or notarize their envelopes and ballots that had been received after the date - 8 valid early voter ballots that had not been cast were found in supply boxes.

Finally, in a surprise ending during the public comment period failed senatorial candidate Jonathon Blas Diaz, his voice rising with emotion, requested a hand recount be conducted not just for the gubernatorial race, but for all the races. He cited the importance of the election at this point in Guam's history and the need to uphold the integrity of the Commission.

The board did not respond at that time.

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