A record-breaking total of 17,740 individuals are registered to vote in the CNMI’s Nov. 4 general elections, Commonwealth Election Commission executive director Robert A. Guerrero confirmed yesterday.
Guerrero said this is the final number as voter registration ended on Friday.
While 17,740 were registered to vote, this does not necessarily mean that all of them would actually cast their votes.
“We’ve averaged a voter turnout of mid-70 percent to mid-80 percent, higher than national average in voter turnout, most especially during gubernatorial elections,” Guerrero told Saipan Tribune.
U.S. national election voter turnout averages below 60 percent since at least 1972.
Besides the Nov. 4 general elections, the CNMI will also have a special election for a Saipan senatorial seat on the same day per Gov. Eloy S. Inos’ Sept. 5 proclamation.
The CNMI is also headed for a third election in November—that of a gubernatorial runoff race if none of the four gubernatorial teams get at least 50 percent plus one of the votes cast.
It’s only this year that the number of CNMI registered voters breached the 17,000-mark. Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP), Guerrero’s predecessor as election commission executive director, also confirmed this.
In the 2009 general elections, there were 16,146 registered voters. During the 2005 general elections, the number was 15,118.
Of the 17,740 registered CNMI voters, over 27 percent or 4,860 is from election district 1 on Saipan covering San Antonio, San Vicente, and Koblerville.
Nearly 20 percent or 3,519 are from election district 3, which covers San Jose/Oleai and Garapan.
Election Commission data also shows that election district 5 or Kagman has 2,793 registered voters, followed by election district 4 with 1,792. Election district 4 covers Tanapag, San Roque, Capital Hill, and the Northern Islands.
Rota or election district 7 has 1,762 registered voters, while Tinian or election district 6 has 1,561.
The smallest election district, 2, or the Chalan Kanoa/Susupe area, has 1,453 registered voters.