Absentee or early voting are options during the pandemic


If voters are worried about going out during election day on Nov. 3 due to COVID-19 concerns they may either opt for absentee voting or early voting, according to Commonwealth Election Commission executive director Julita A. Villagomez yesterday.

Villagomez reminded voters that Oct. 9 is the deadline to request for absentee voting by electronic/mail.

When asked who are eligible for absentee voting, she said that covers any registered voter who is going to be off-island on election day and for those who are concerned about going to the polling sites and being exposed to possible infection.

Villagomez said the CEC commissioners will hold a meeting today, Tuesday, at CEC office in Susupe at 1pm. At the meeting the commissioners will talk about the designation of polling places, the COVID-19 situation, and the designation of two CEC staff who will pick up the absentee ballots at the post office.

Villagomez said the commissioners will also discuss proposed standard operating procedures governing the election and the problematic registration/absentee applications. This refers to some people who registered off-island or elsewhere where they are currently at.

“If you are registered in the [United] States, and you try to register here, you are no longer claiming Saipan as your residence,” she said, adding that the commissioners will talk about this issue at the meeting.

As for the tabulating machines, Villagomez said they are expecting the two big machines and four smaller ones to arrive from Nebraska in the middle part of October.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com
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