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No changes to winners after ballot recount

by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - After finding errors with the final unofficial results from Super Tuesday, the Guam Election Commission found themselves hard at work again today, recounting several precincts that were identified to have not counted - and in some cases, double-counted votes - from Tuesday's general election for Decision 2012.  While the numbers may have changed, at this point it doesn't appear that there are any changes to the winners who were announced early Wednesday morning. 

It was a feeling of Super Tuesday all over again at the Guam Election Commission where most of the day was spent recounting a total of seven different precincts- four of which were in question due to a corrupt disc transferring the data from the machine to the software system with an additional precinct known to have double counted ballots.

The recount started shortly after 11am at the GEC offices in Hagatna where a machine tabulation was done on precincts 4 in Agat, 6 in Umatac, 13a in Agana Heights and 18c and 18g in Dededo. All the ballots were tabulated on Tabulator #3 otherwise known as "Francisco" as it was the only tabulator to not have experienced any problems during the election.

As we reported, precinct 4 had the most obvious error in data that showed Senator Adolpho Palacios receiving zero votes, Leah Beth Naholowaa receiving one vote and Agat mayoral candidate Bill Cundiff receiving 14 votes. As the recounted results came it, it showed there were some discrepancies and from comparing the old and new results showed at least 14 of the senatorial candidates had a change in numbers. Palacios this time around had 264 votes, Naholowaa had 178 votes and Cundiff had 208 votes-all a dramatic jump from before.

No significant changes for the remaining three precincts with precinct 6 only showing at least one vote less for non-partisan races, precinct 18c had four additional ballots from precinct 18b and precinct 18g with a handful of the non-partisan races have either one vote more or less.

After about three hours of tabulating the five precincts, GEC then proceeded to phase two by hand counting Precinct 4 due to the discrepancies found and randomly choose Precinct 13a as well. Four representatives from the Republican Party of Guam and Democrat Party of Guam each were chosen to do the hand count.

Maria Pangelinan says the hand count could take anywhere around two hours for each precinct. Board chairman Joe Mesa meanwhile says phase three will then consist of randomly tabulating two other precincts not involved and compare the results from that of Election night to verify if in fact results are accurate. A final cumulative tabulation should be completed once all the counts are done. Mesa added that the recount will be completed today.

The GEC meanwhile will next meet on Monday, November 19 at 5:26pm.

- Results from all Decision 2012 General Election races

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