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CEC may certify election results tonight

CEC picked up some absentee ballots last week, remaining will be picked up today
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The Commonwealth Election Commission is expected to certify tonight, Tuesday, the results of the Nov. 3 general elections that saw a neck-and-neck battle between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.

CEC executive director Julita A. Villagomez disclosed in an interview yesterday that they, along with a representative from the Office of the Public Auditor, had already picked up some absentee ballots from the U.S. Post Office in Chalan Kanoa last Thursday.

Villagomez said they have to wait until the 4pm closure of the post office today, Tuesday, to pick up the remaining absentee ballots.

Before tabulating the ballots, the CEC commissioners have to meet first to formulate the tabulation committee today, Tuesday, at 2pm at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe

Villagomez said the committee will then examine and decide regarding on the postmarked date of absentee ballots.

“The law says that we have to receive 14 days after [election day] but it has to be postmarked on our election day,” Villagomez said.

CEC machines will then count the votes.

Villagomez earlier said that, excluding the remaining absentee ballots, there was a total of 12,919 who voted at the Nov. 3 general elections and that all ballots were counted.

CEC said that a total of 1,668 absentee ballots were sent and that they received 1,064. Villagomez said that they have not received 604 absentee ballots.

CEC board chair Jesus I. Sablan earlier estimated that they will receive only about 50-100 absentee ballots.

The closest result that is likely to change is for the sixth and last place in Precinct 3 between Rep. Ralph Yumul of the Republican Party and Corina Lorraine Magofna of the Democratic Party. Yumul has 1,230 votes so far, while Magofna has 1,195—a margin of just 35 votes.

It’s still difficult for Magofna to overtake Yumul as the remaining absentee ballots for Precinct 3 only total 60.

The other close contest is for the Tinian House seat between Patrick Hofschneider San Nicolas of the Republican Party and Frederick Arend Dela Cruz of the Democratic Party. San Nicolas got 625 votes, while Dela Cruz received 579—a margin of 46.

As of Oct. 7, there was a total of 18,519 registered voters in the CNMI. A total of 8,369 cast early votes in the Commonwealth.

Based on CEC’s unofficial tabulation results, nine Democratic Party candidates prevailed. For the Saipan Senate it’s Edith E. Deleon Guerrero and for the House of Representatives they are Edwin Kenneth Propst, Celina R. Babauta, Christina-Marie Elise Sablan, Denita K. Yangetmai, Vicente Castro Camacho, Sheila Therese Jack Babauta, Leila Haveia Fleming Staffler, and Richard Tudela Lizama.

For the Republicans, 10 GOP candidates won. For the Tinian Senate it’s Karl Rosario King-Nabors and for the House they are Roy Christopher Ada, Angel Aldan Demapan, Joseph Lee Pan Tenorio Guerrero, John Paul Sablan, Blas Jonathan Attao, Ivan Alafanson Blanco, Ralph Naraja Yumul, Joel Castro Camacho, and Patrick Hofschneider San Nicolas.

Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP), an independent, ran unopposed for his seventh term. Five other independents prevailed—Rota Sen. Paul A. Manglona, Rep. Joseph Arriola Flores, Rep. Edmund Joseph Sablan Villagomez, and Rep. Donald Manalang Manglona.

Delegate Sablan, Sen. Manglona, and Rep. Manglona are aligning with the Democratic Party.

Majority voted for the retention on the bench of Associate Justice Perry B. Inos, Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja, and Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo.

For Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council, Ana Demapan Castro and Antonia Manibusan Tudela are sure winners as they are the only candidates for three seats.

For the Tinian and Aguiguan Municipal Council, the three who made it based on the unofficial results are Joseph Romaldo Evangelista Santos, Michal Nap King Aldan, and Thomasa Rita Palacios Mendiola.

For the Rota Municipal Council, the three who made it are William Apatang Taitano, Jonovan Hocog Lizama, and Jim Michael Atalig.

For the Board of Education Saipan and Northern Islands, the sure winners are Maisie Bermudes Tenorio and Gregory Pat Borja.

For BOE Rota, Herman Manglona Atalig was the only candidate.

BOE Tinian had no slot in this election.

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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