by Ken Quintanilla
Guam - While legislation to purchase new tabulation machines lapsed into law last weekend, it appears there's some trouble with the funding. Executive director Maria Pangelinan said, "I was notified by BBMR that there will be no money loaded up in our accounts because according to BBMR there is no money in the SAR account."
Public law appropriates $206,000 from the Supplemental Appropriation Revenue Fund for the purchase of new tabulation machines, ballot stock and coding services. GEC chairman Joe Mesa suggested that without the funding, that the GEC use its decades old machines - two of the four of which currently work. "Either we pursue that and if there's no money we got to do something yes, the election is on August 30 but you have ballots to be printed and ballots to be tested and so forth and so forth," he said.
GEC will now write a letter to the governor and the Guam Legislature to address the matter. Pangelinan added the machines will take two weeks for delivery with the drop dead date to be on island by the first week of August. As we reported, the GECs longtime vendor Election Systems & Software had recommended a year ago that Guam discontinue using its old machines and that the cost to repair them would be cost prohibitive. The GEC is hoping for a response from island leaders by Tuesday next week.