Absentee, homebound voting begins July 31 - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Absentee, homebound voting begins July 31

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - The Guam Election Commission believes no one should be denied the right to vote. And starting next week, those who need special accommodations will be provided with several opportunities to do just that.  

Next week Thursday not only marks approximately 30 days before the primary election but the beginning of several opportunities for residents to get in on a chance vote. Executive director Maria Pangelinan says the first is in-office absentee voting. "What it is, is anybody who cannot make it to the polls on August 30th they're welcome to come into our offices to fill an absentee ballot it will be from 8am to 5pm we invite persons with disabilities who will be more comfortable coming to our office and taking their time to come in at this time also," she said.

In-office absentee voting also applies to those who are going off-island or whose work schedule prevent them from making it on election day. Those with disabilities may also avail themselves to curbside voting- which is just as it sounds with GEC staff attending to the voter along the curbside of the GCIC Building or the polling site on election day. "Also on July 31st we can start to schedule homebound voting people who cannot leave their homes for medical or health reasons we can come to their house and our staff and possibly a representatives from both parties will accompany our staff to go out and service the homebound voter," she said.

Homebound voting will also extend to patients at the hospital. And as the election gets closer, Pangelinan says voters who wish to participate in these voting opportunities should apply as soon as possible - this includes for those living in the us mainland or who are serving in the military overseas who want ballots mailed to them. "The last day to request is two days before the election so we will continue to process it we're looking right now at a 24 hour turn around for people who are requesting from off island and we're trying to get them out as soon as we can so they have ample time to send them in," she said.

She says those off-island ballots are due by September 9 or 10 days after the primary election. Meanwhile as Pangelinan has always said, your vote is your voice and wants everyone to participate. "Nobody should be denied the right to the vote and we want to hear everyone's voice and everybody as much as possible, so we'll try to go out and reach the voter as much as we can within the law," she said.

Pangelinan says in the 2012 election, close to one thousand people took advantage of these voting opportunities. In-office absentee, homebound and curbside voting begins on July 31.

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