Only 266 cast early votes


Commonwealth Election Commission administrative officer Kayla Igitol assists two early voters yesterday at the Garapan Community Development Center. The seven-day early voting started last Saturday and will end this Friday. (Ferdie de la Torre)

The turnout was low during the first two days of the seven-day early voting for the special election for a Precinct 3 seat in the House of the Representatives.

Commonwealth Election Commission administrative officer Kayla Igitol said yesterday that 170 cast their votes at the Garapan Community Development Center during the first day of early voting last Saturday.

Yesterday, 96 voted at the center, which is located adjacent to the Carolinian Affairs Office, behind the basketball court.

Igitol said early voting opens at 8:30am and closes at 4pm every day until this Friday.

She said it’s a small turnout because the election is for only one precinct.

“We never had a voting for one precinct,” Igitol said.

When asked why early voting is at the Garapan Community Development Center, Igitol said they actually tried to reserve the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe but it is currently being used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and another agency.

She said the first two days of early voting was smooth and slow.

One of the four candidates, Marco Taisakan Peter of the GOP, said yesterday he is happy with his home visits with voters as a lot of people came out in the first two days of early voting.

Peter said a lot of people in the community do not really know what’s happening with the special election.

“The home visit was key in bringing them up,” he said.

Peter said win or lose, he is happy because he made people “from both sides come together.”

The three other candidates are former representative Donald Cabrera Barcinas of the Democratic Party and independent candidates David Castro Sablan and Mariano DLG Fajardo.

As of last Jan. 28, there were 3,361 registered voters for Precinct 3. Precinct 3A covers San Jose/Oleai, while Precinct 3B covers Garapan area.

The special election will be on March 23.

The designated polling places for the special election are room 18 of the Oleai Elementary School for Precinct 3A voters and the cafeteria of the Garapan Elementary School for Precinct 3B voters.

The polling places at Oleai and Garapan Schools will open at 7am and close at 7pm.

CEC said voters must ensure that they bring with them a picture identification card as they will be required to present it in order to be issued a ballot at the polls.

The special election is being held following the death of representative Francisco D. Dela Cruz last January.

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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