Portable voting booths with plexiglass-like material will be used


Commonwealth Election Commission administrative officer Robin N. Sablan demonstrates Monday using a sample on how to set up a portable voting booth made up of plexiglass-like material at the polling sites for the Nov. 8 general elections. CEC will use the portable voting booths on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota and eventually throw away the old voting booths that are made up of plywood. (FERDIE DE LA TORRE)

The Commonwealth Election Commission will eventually throw away all the voting booths that are made up of plywood as CEC will be using small portable voting booths made up of plexiglass-like material for this Nov. 8 general elections.

CEC administrative officer Robin N. Sablan disclosed Monday that the portable voting booths, that many states have been using during elections, are more easy to set up and retrieve.

“Just set it up on the table instead of carrying the booth itself,” said Sablan as he demonstrated how the new booth works.

He said before they were using the plywood booths, which were very hard to distribute during elections as they were not only heavy but big too.

The administrative officer said in every polling place, they put up like eight to 10 booths.

Sablan said storing those wooden booths is hard as they don’t have big storage rooms.

Sablan said this new concept will save the government money as they keep on changing the wooden booths because of termites and other damage.

He said at every polling site there are tables already.

Sablan said the instructions on how to vote are embedded in the portable voting booth.

He said the material they are using is plexiglass-like but not see-through so the voters have privacy.

“Lot of states are using this. To set up and retrieve is so easy especially during elections,” Sablan said, adding that they will use the portable voting booths in Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.

He said their future goal is that they want  poll workers to be more independent, because what they do during elections is  manage the polling sites.

“So when we give them the materials we want to put everything in. So when they go there they just set up  everything,” he said.

Sablan said right now, they are the ones doing logistics during elections and also have to be present during the tabulations all the way until the results are certified.

He said to set up, they have to start a day before the election day, coordinating with schools’ opening and closure.

With respect to technicians from Nebraska-based Election Systems & Software, Sablan said there’s no date yet as to when they are coming to Saipan.

“But every election, we have them three days prior to election just to make sure machines are calibrated, they’re running good. They’re there to insert the chip to identify the sub precincts, make sure it’s running,” he said.

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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