Newly appointed Commonwealth Election Commission executive director Kayla Igitol has underscored the need to amend a lot of election laws because of the many challenges happening in the community.
Igitol said in an interview last Friday that the CEC board, she, and the CEC staff will be looking into proposing some amendments to many election laws to fit with the changing times.
This will help CEC be more flexible during this COVID-19 pandemic and in times when typhoons happen during an election period, like what happened when Super Typhoon Yutu happened in October 2018, she said.
“We [must be] flexible to operate with those challenges,” she pointed out.
This need to update election laws and regulations was among the issues the CEC commissioners discussed during a meeting last Friday.
Igitol said that they, with the assistance of the board, are going to work on having the laws amended before next year’s gubernatorial election.
Then-senator Sixto K. Igisomar (R-Saipan) had introduced two bills that the CEC had supported to mitigate the public health risks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One bill suspended certain CNMI election laws for the Nov. 3, 2020, general elections, while the other legislation amended the election law to allow a member of the CEC board to participate and vote in an official online meeting. The 21st Legislature passed both bills. Last Sept. 23, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres signed them into laws.