GEC hoping to finalize bid invite for new machines - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GEC hoping to finalize bid invite for new machines

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - The New Year will bring new machines for the Guam Election Commission as it prepares for decision 2014.

Out with the old and in with the new. Over the last several months the GEC has been working on an invitation for bid for the procurement of several new tabulation machines. It was in July of last year its vendor ES&S recommended the agency discontinue the use of its current tabulation machines - which have been the same one used for the several elections that have encountered a series of problems.

According to GEC executive director Maria Pangelinan the draft IFB is going through final revisions which are due by the end of this month. She told KUAM News, "At this juncture in time the commissioners are reviewing the third draft of the invitation for bid and so at their last meeting on December 4th the commissioners decided to give themselves a little more time to review the bid it's a little bit on the lots of pages side 1638 so they will review it they have until January 10th. Come January 10th their comments are due to me and I will incorporate their comments into the draft and come January 22nd the commissioners will take a look at it again and we're looking at approval or disapproval of the invitation for bid by January 22nd."

There are two types of machines the GEC is looking to choose from. Precinct counters or similar the ones it has now central tabulation machines. "The invitation for bid as written can accommodate two types of equipment precinct counters as well as central counters. Central counters all the ballots come to a central area and central counters you feed them and dish out the results. 1818 precinct counters, the ballots can be tabulated electronically on the machine itself. But in our case they would still have to be brought to the university if we use those," said Pangelinan.

Once commissioners finalize the IFB it will not only be published in the local newspaper and on GEC website it will also be sent directly to vendors which according to Pangelinan there are only a handful across the country. "As far as Guam law goes there are based on certification requirements there are only five nationally certified companies with equipment, so the IFB will also be sent out to these five vendors."

Funding for these machines were not included in the agency's current fiscal year budget. According to Pangelinan, each machine is estimated to cost anywhere between $50,000-$85,000. 

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