Corrupted data, double-ballots force recount - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Corrupted data, double-ballots force recount

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - 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 five different precincts - four of which were in question due to a corrupt disk transferring data from the machine to the software system with one other precinct having shown 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.

Precinct 4 had the most obvious error in data, specifically Senator Adolpho Palacios showing only received zero votes, senatorial candidate Leah Beth Naholowaa receiving one vote and Agat mayoral candidate Bill Cundiff receiving 14 votes. As the recounted results came in, it showed there were in fact 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. The Agat vice mayoral race for precinct 4 showed no changes whatsoever.

For Precinct 13a in Agana Heights, it did show that in fact the votes were counted twice, but the new results simply were divided in half and did not change the standing of the candidates.

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 having either one vote more or less.

A little before 3pm, after all five precincts were tabulated on "Francisco" GEC then proceeded to phase two by hand counting two precincts—precincts 4 mainly because of the discrepancies found and at random precinct 13a. Four representatives from the Republican Party of Guam and Democrat Party of Guam each were chosen to do the hand count.

As of 6:45pm, the GEC decided to cease the recount process and continue on Saturday at 9:01am. As of close, only 150 out of 654 ballots had been hand counted for precinct 4 and 75 out of 703 had been hand counted for precinct 13a.  The ballots will be secured in a sealed envelope and put in a secure, locked location. After the hand count is completed, phase three will start which consists 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. GEC meanwhile next meets on Monday, November 19 at 5:26pm where they anticipate certifying the results.

 

VIDEO INTERVIEWS:

- Mike Benito (Republican Party of Guam chairman)

- Carlo Branch (Democrat Party of Guam executive director)

- Maria Pangelinan (Guam Election Commission executive director)

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