Friday, September 03, 2010

GEC Gets Eviction Notice as Over 48,000 Prepare to Vote

GEC gets eviction notice as over 48,000 prepare to vote

Friday, 03, September 2010 By Zita Y. Taitaino from

MORE than 48,000 registered voters on Guam are expected to head to the polls tomorrow for the primary election where 38 candidates are vying for 15 seats in the Legislature and two teams competing for the Republican Party’s endorsement for the gubernatorial race.

They will also choose Guam’s next attorney general and delegate to the U.S. Congress.

But GEC, which will count the votes at the University of Guam, is in for trouble after its landlord served it an eviction notice 48 hours before the election is held.

Guam Capital Investment Corp., which rents the building to GEC, demanded that it “vacate, quit and surrender the premises in good order, condition and repair, except for reasonable wear and tear.”

According to GCIC President Steffen Niu, GEC failed to pay the proper amount due for September in the amount of $534.58 as a holdover amount due.

“GCIC has the right to cash the check $12,297.34 without prejudice to collecting the shortage of $534.58 and without reinstatement of the lease. The termination is not withdrawn by the cashing of the said check and GEC must vacate the premises immediately,” Niu wrote to GEC Executive Director John F. Blas.

GEC rents GCIC’s property at $6,148.67 a month, inclusive of common area and other charges.

A complaint for unlawful detainer after default in payment of rent was also filed in the Superior Court by the law firm of Calvo & Clark, LLP.

The Democratic Party’s standard bearers, former Governor Carl T.C. Gutierrez and his running mate incumbent Sen. Frank B. Aguon Jr., are unopposed.

Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, a Democrat, who is seeking another term as the territory’s nonvoting delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, is also running unopposed.

Guam Election Commission Executive Director John Blas said the polling places will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Their records show, 48,511 registered to vote for this general elections.

Blas said he’s expecting a voters’ turnout of up to 75 percent.

Close to 3,000 registered voters already cast their votes at GEC through the early in-house voting program.

“I would say we are above 2,600 people in terms of early voting. I’m led to believe voters will come out to the polls. It’s difficult for me to give a percentage but I’m under the impression we’ll have a good voter turnout,” he said.

Residents who vote at the polling sites, however, must vote for one party. If they vote for a Democrat candidate, they must vote on the Democrat side of the ballot. The same goes for the Republican side of the ballot.

On the ballot is the position for governor and lt. governor, Guam delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, the senatorial race for the 31st Guam Legislature, the position of vice mayor for the village of Agat, and the Attorney General of Guam.

Running on the Republican ticket in the gubernatorial race are Senators Eddie Calvo and Ray Tenorio for governor and lt. governor, respectively.

They are up against Lt. Governor Mike Cruz and Senator James Espaldon.

In the race, for Attorney General are former Guam U.S. Attorney Lenny Rapadas, assistant attorney general William Bischoff, and private attorney Gary Gumataotao.

The Democratic Party fielded 19 candidates for the senatorial race and so did the GOP.

Vying for the Agat Vice Mayor race is Derick Baza Hills, Joe Salas, and incumbent Vice Mayor Augustin Quintanilla.

Blas said GEC will still allow voters in line even if the polls close at 8 p.m.

“If there are still voters still in line, a precinct official will stand at the end of the line, and the person standing in front of the official will be considered the last voter when the inspector announces the polls are closed,” Blas explained.

In the meantime, Blas said the election board meets today at the University of Guam Field House to test the four tabulating machines for Saturday night when the precinct officials arrive with the ballot boxes.

Counting is expected to start at around 9 p.m. and unofficial results are expected to start coming out about an hour later. The final unofficial results may be completed early in the morning at around 2 a.m.

With reports by Janela Buhain

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