GEC counts provisional ballots

RECOUNT: Commissioners Alice Taijeron, center, in white, and Jerry Crisostomo, left, center, in black, convene a Guam Election Commission board meeting Wednesday at The Westin Resort Guam. Following the meeting, GEC officials began counting the provisional ballots. Norman M. Taruc/The Guam Daily Post

The Guam Election Commission began counting provisional ballots for the 2022 general election Wednesday afternoon.

Although they had an agenda set for their meeting at The Westin Resort Guam, commissioners of the GEC decided to leave discussing all items for a later date in order to count the remaining provisional ballots cast in the general election earlier this month.

As of 7 p.m., the vetting and counting of ballots, as part of the certification of the island's 2022 election results, was ongoing. 

GEC Executive Director Maria Pangelinan explained, before the process began, that officials were to read the names of the provisional ballots and confirm whether they were absentee or qualified provisionals.

Absentee voters are early voters or residents outside of Guam who voted, while qualified provisional voters may have come to the wrong precinct to vote on Election Day or did not bring their IDs.

Then, after the names are read, GEC officials crossed out the names of voters in their respective precincts before placing them in an empty ballot box. The striking out of names ensures there is no double voting, Pangelinan said.

The votes will be tabulated after they are placed in the ballot box.

As of 6 p.m., the provisional votes were still being counted.

Razor-thin

Candidates in attendance while provisional ballots were being counted included attorney general-elect Douglas Moylan and former Sen. Jesse Lujan as both of their respective races ended in slim margins.

Moylan won the race for attorney general over incumbent Leevin Camacho by a slim 77-vote margin in the final preliminary count, which is close enough to automatically trigger a recount of all votes cast in the race.

Camacho has yet to concede the race considering the more than 200 provisional ballots cast on Election Day.

In Lujan's case, he obtained 11,995 votes in the senatorial race giving him the 15th spot over Kelly Marsh-Taitano, who garnered 11,620 votes. 

Recounts are triggered "if the tabulation that a difference in votes is two percent or less," according to Guam law. That threshold is calculated by adding the two vote totals and multiplying the sum by 2%.

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