First-time voters excited to vote



Many first-time voters looked forward to voting in this year’s general election.

Bishop Ryan P. Jimenez himself of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa looked forward to exercising his right to vote for the first time.

“I’m actually excited,” he said shortly after voting at the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library in Susupe yesterday afternoon.

Jimenez said that one of the things that he was looking forward to when he became a U.S. citizen last year was to vote in the CNMI. He said it’s a long process for him.

He prays that whoever wins will lead the community well. “I hope that after this, we can move forward,” he said. “It is really very important that we work together as one community.”

Jimenez noted seeing an artwork with a message, “One Marianas. One Heart.”

“What a wonderful message. It’s all really about serving our people,” he added.

A first-time voter who only identified himself as John, said his father, a long-time Filipino worker on Saipan, accompanied him to the polling place. John, 19, said his father was actually more excited than he was.

Many first-time young voters said they obtained the advice of their parents. That was the case with John. This was the same story with 19-year-old Richard, also a first-time voter.

Wilfredo Dela Cruz, 63, said it was his first time to vote since obtaining his citizenship this year.

Dela Cruz, who was accompanied to the polling place by his 27-year-old son, James, a teacher, said it is his civic duty to vote.

Other voters feel relieved that there is no runoff election as there are only two gubernatorial candidates.

Maricar Cepeda, a teacher, said she is thankful that she does not need to vote again as there is no runoff election. Cepeda said a runoff election would be too much of a hassle, considering the massive destruction of Super Typhoon Yutu.

James De la Cruz said if there is a runoff it would be a waste of time and gas while the island is still recovering from Yutu’s destructions.

Gubernatorial candidate Juan N. Babauta said it’s good that there is no runoff election because that will eliminate the hassle of preparing another 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
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