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GEC looking at upgrading voting experience

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Just as the Guam Election Commission prepares for a special election next month, they're also preparing for future elections and ways to improve the voting system on Guam. GEC executive director Maria Pangelinan says her goal has always been to provide fair and honest elections locally. And next week, she'll be attending a national conference to help do just that.

"One of the other things I want to do while I'm there is to see how other states conduct the election, and with all the research and all the people that will be there, it's a great way to network and learn what everyone else is doing," she said.

While they haven't had a quorum for nearly four years, the US Election Assistance Commission Board of Advisors will finally be meeting on April 28 and 29 in Williamsburg, Virginia. Pangelinan along with one the GEC staff will be in attendance hoping to get updates on various election efforts conducted across America. "Learning from how they do it will help Guam a lot," she continued. "Another thing I was pondering on was very recently, maybe they can also learn from us with our high voter turnout. We know that our voter turnout is on a downward trend, but hopefully w will bring that back up our voter participation as I did a scan across the United States election districts, seems to be higher than most. We want to share what we do and we want them to share with us what they do."

It's been nearly a decade since Guam attended an EAC meeting. The EAC was established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 and is an independent, bipartisan commission charged with developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines and serving as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration. "I hope to bring back some money. I believe that Guam still has prior fiscal years funding that needs to be allocated back to Guam, and I hope to learn how to satisfy the requirements to get that money back to Guam," said Pangelinan.

Pangelinan estimates this federal money between $150,000 to $300,000. Pangelinan says while she's in Virginia, she hopes to also share feedback on online voter registration, which recently was signed into public law here on island.

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