GEC attorney discusses legality of candidate's second name - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GEC attorney discusses legality of candidate's second name

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 by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - The Guam Election Commission reconvened Tuesday evening where legal counsel Jeff Moots gave his legal opinion on the issue of one senatorial candidate’s legal name. 

It was last week Thursday when Romeo Carlos’s senatorial candidacy came into question particularly his legal name written on his affidavit of registration and a different name stated on his nominating petition. Guam Code requires all nominating papers filed by individuals who wish to have their name placed on the primary ballot be filed in the candidate’s legal name. Carlos’s legal name is “Carl Gross”. The GEC had postponed the certification of candidates until legal counsel provided a legal opinion. 

Moots issued a legal explanation giving commissioners two different ways of how they can define a legal name. The first is a more modern approach which is basically the name given at birth or changed through a legal process. The second explanation pertained to the common law of the United States which Moots noted is the case law that has developed over history "with precedence of allowing an individual to use whatever name they wish in their interaction with the community as long as they’re willing to accept the legal responsibilities and consequences of whatever agreement they enter into with that name.”

The commission did not take any formal action on the legal opinion. The commission instead moved to accept all the candidates who filed including Romeo Carlos. The vote was four in favor and with two commissioners voting against including Alice Taijeron and Pat Civille. 

So with the certification of candidates, the GEC will accept any final requests for names as they would appear on the ballot until 4pm tomorrow (Wednesday July 9). The GEC has also scheduled the ballot placement drawing for Wednesday at 6pm. 
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