Guam – It's official: the Guam-Japan Friendship Village's for-profit bingo initiative will be on the November General Election ballot after it was certified by the Guam Election Commission board. The initiative would limit for-profit bingo exclusively at the former Guam Greyhound facilities in Tamuning.
Now that the initiative has been given the green light to move to the general, according to GEC executive director Maria Pangelinan, the board's legal counsel has ten days to prepare the ballot title. "Then from there we publish it three weeks in a row. The publication of the ballot title will invite people who are for and against the ballot initiative to submit arguments when they submit arguments together with the ballot title an objective analysis of the initiative by the legal counsel all that will; be put in pamphlet and the pamphlet must be mailed to the voters 30 days before the election," she said.
Because the GEC was not anticipating an initiative this election season they will notify the Legislature and Adelup of the need to increase their proposed Fiscal Year 2013 budget to cover the additional expenditures.
Meanwhile as for the race for public auditor, a letter was submitted by former governor and write-in candidate Carl Gutierrez, requesting the board accept different variations of his name as valid write-in votes. Names such as "Cal", "Carl G", and "Uncle Carl" were among those included. The board didn't give their final approval but according to Pangelinan, plan to during their next meeting on Monday. The board did however approve Gutierrez's request to use stickers with his name printed on them. It's a similar request made more than thirty years ago but was denied.
Pangelinan continued, "Back in 1974 there was a ruling by the Commission that it wasn't allowed but it was not allowed because the ballots were being tabulated by the machine so there will be interference with the machine our commissioners today did not object to stickers being used for the public auditor race because those will be hand counted."
Meanwhile although Gutierrez said he didn't feel he had to resign as chairman of the Democratic Party of Guam, but did so to end the red herring debate. Evidently, according to the GEC, he would have had to step down in order to participate in the non-partisan election. "This was all discussed with legal counsel and the Commission, so with his resignation as chairman of the Democratic Party of Guam, that clearly says that he's qualified. That does not impede him as running as public auditor," she said.
In the meantime, Governor Eddie Calvo commented on his former gubernatorial opponent and his bid to take over the OPA as "a man of surprises". Calvo said, "And everyday there's something new so I eagerly anticipate what the news is tomorrow in regards to Carl T.C. Gutierrez. As far as I'm concerned, a very interesting man. I look forward to what happens tomorrow."
Precinct official training gets underway this weekend. The GEC board's next meeting is on Monday.