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GEC gets assessment on ballot tabulators

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - With about a year until next year's primary election, the Guam Election Commission has received an assessment from Election Systems & Software on Guam's tabulation machines used in Guam elections for more than a decade.

Based on various accounts and performance analyses, ES&S recommends that Guam discontinue further usage of Guam's model which is the 550 Central Tabulator.

In the letter to the GEC, they cite electrical and power anomalies experienced in the 2010 and 2012 elections as well as mechanical failures which although can be considered typical, indicate that the equipment is reaching or has reached the end of its useful life.

ES&S further note that in order to provide some assurance that the equipment would operate properly, they would need to performance maintenance at a level that makes it cost-prohibitive to continue to operate the equipment. And with less than 10 similar models still in use, it has become increasingly difficult for ES&S to maintain its parts inventory in which it cannot guarantee the parts availability putting GEC in an "extremely high risk position."

ES&S recommends the GEC consider other options for future tabulation needs and is willing to work with the GEC to proffer solutions.

GEC executive director Maria Pangelinan says the letter was presented to the Commission Thursday. She says the GEC will doing further research and checking all avenues if and before they decide to buy new machines. Since last operated during the recount earlier this year, only three of its four tabulation machines are working. The primary election meanwhile is set for August 30 next year.

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