DOC’s armory room inspected, CCTVs found operational


Kayla S. Igitol and Ashley Kost

The Commonwealth Election Commission staff, Office of the Public Auditor legal counsel, and representatives of the gubernatorial candidates, inspected Thursday the Department of Corrections’ armory room, where early voting ballots for the Nov. 8 election will be stored.

CEC executive director Kayla S. Igitol reported during CEC board meeting Friday that they found that the closed-circuit television cameras in the armory room are operational.

Igitol also informed the board that they commenced Thursday accepting request for absentee ballots.

With respect to the CCTV issue, the executive director said CEC staff, along with representatives of the gubernatorial candidates and OPA legal counsel Ashley Kost, did a walk-through at DOC at 10am.

She said they were able to inspect the armory room for 10-15 minutes.

“So we were able to do FaceTime where [DOC] Capt. [Manuel] Quitano had my phone in the control room. I was doing FaceTime with Miss Ashley so they were able to see in real time that the cameras, the CCTVs are in operation,” Igitol said.

She said representatives of the gubernatorial candidates were all happy with the inspection and that she also mentioned to them that CEC will do periodic inspection before the Nov. 8 general election comes.

The CEC board agreed to ask DOC to allow an inspection of DOC’s armory room.

The Committee-to-Elect Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios and Saipan Mayor David Apatang requested for the inspection as apparently DOC Commissioner Wally Villagomez mentioned during a budget hearing before the House of Representatives that their CCTVs were down.

Palacios is running for governor, with Apatang as his running mate for lieutenant governor, under a unified independent team.

On absentee ballots, Igitol said they commenced accepting request for absentee ballots Thursday, and as of Friday received 143 requests.

She said they are reviewing the requests.

Igitol also disclosed that attorneys Sean Frink and Marcia K. Schultz have confirmed that they are available to act as CEC’s administrative hearing officers for this election.

Igitol said as of Friday morning, there were 18,808 registered voters in the CNMI.

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

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