CEC chair: Revamp needed to make future counts faster


Commonwealth Election Commission board chair Jesus I. Sablan said Wednesday he is looking at revamping some processes at CEC to make future election tabulations faster.

The CEC board will probably be meeting in January 2021 to talk about potential changes, said Sablan in an interview after CEC completed their tabulation of votes at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center last Wednesday.

He is satisfied with the smooth tabulation of ballots this year but Sablan believes some tweaks will make it even faster and smoother.

Sablan said it’s the absentee voting that holds them back; they need to process it in a way where they make sure that the affidavit that they received has a signature. “We have to compare it with the registration’s signature and make sure that the same person is actually casting their vote,” Sablan said.

He said the 21-day early voting helps with the orderly election.

CEC has yet to certify the results of their tabulation because the last batch of absentee ballots are coming on Nov. 17.

Sablan said based on the total number of absentee ballots that were sent out, there’s a balance of about 600. “But…I’m looking at between 50 and 100 [that will arrive on Nov. 17],” he said.

If that estimate proves correct, the coming absentee ballots would not likely affect the results of the unofficial tabulation.

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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