CEC begins overnight work of counting votes

As of 10pm, CEC officials and staff were preparing the over 5,000 early votes for tabulation.

At 10.20pm, ballots from Rota arrived at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center.

At 11:10pm, ballots from Tinian arrived.

As of 12:20am, tabulation of early votes had yet to be completed as the counting machine jammed due to many correction stickers on some ballots.

The Commonwealth Election Commission uses correction stickers on ballots when there are stray marks or if the machine wasn’t able to read the ballots but it is obvious to the CEC what the voter intended to do, according to CEC legal counsel Michael Witry.

CEC chair Frances Sablan announced at 1:15am that the counting of early ballots on Saipan has already been completed and they would proceed with the tabulation of early ballots on Tinian and Rota.

Sablan said that CEC staff would release the results of Saipan early votes on the CEC website, www.votecnmi.gov.mp.

Sablan said they want to include Tinian and Rota early voting in their announcement because they want to give the media the entire summary.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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