CEC likely to charter boat for $10K just to get 9 votes from Northern Islands


The Commonwealth Election Commission is likely to spend $10,000 to charter a boat just to get nine votes from the Northern Islands for the Nov. 6 general election, according to CEC executive director Julita Villagomez.

Villagomez said that last month they sent CEC election register clerk Ambrosio Joaquin Lisua to the Northern Islands to register voters.

Villagomez said CEC did not spend money for the boat as Lisua was only hitching a ride as the vessel was chartered by the Northern Islands Mayor’s Office.

She said Lisua was able to register two from Agrihan, two from Pagan, and five from Alamagan.

Villagomez said as of this week, there are 176 total voters from the Northern Islands, including those nine.

Most of the 176 are now staying on Saipan.

The CEC executive director said before election day, they may charter a boat to the Northern Islands to bring the ballots for the nine voters.

Villagomez disclosed that during the 2007 election or before that, they chartered a chopper for $15,000 just to bring the ballot from one voter from the Northern Islands. At that time, Villagomez was not the executive director.

“We have to go to the Northern Islands even if there is only one voter,” she said.

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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