Except for some minor issues, elections went smoothly at all polling stations in Tanapag, San Roque, Kagman, and Garapan.
Tanapag voting was held at Tanapag Junior High School, the San Roque polling station was at the Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School, Kagman’s was at the Kagman Elementary School, while Garapan’s was at the Garapan Elementary School
In Kagman, election poll supervisor Zenaida L. Santos said that, aside from a minor complaint about an absentee ballot, voting was generally peaceful and orderly, though a mite busy and tiring.
In San Roque, election poll supervisor Anna Sarapio said one voter nagged about the “no electronic devices” sign posted on the entrance at GTC but this was soon resolved.
In Tanapag, election poll supervisor Dina Kaliga said one voter asked for easier access to the polling station. “Other than that, operations ran smoothly throughout the day,” she said.
As of 5pm yesterday, Kagman polls already had more than 870 voters, San Roque counted more than 260 voters, and Tanapag had more than 320.
Sen. Victor Hocog (R-Rota) confirmed that more than 400 voters on Rota had already cast their ballots as of 6pm.
“Everything here ran smoothly, with some minor issue between camp parties,” he said.
One minor disturbance was loud music played by two separate parties and there was a complaint for the music to be turned off.
“No commotion requiring police assistance happened but it turned out well. We expected at least more than 800 voters, but it reached 400-some today,” Hocog said.
The smooth conduct of the election also held true on Tinian, according to Tinian Mayor Ramon Dela Cruz.
“It ran smoothly, but we had one incident where campaigners held a small motorcade near the election poll area…and the police had to stop it,” he said.
More than 600 voted as of 6:30pm, according to Dela Cruz.
Northern Islands Mayor’s office staff Jerome Aldan said that Northern Island voters started voting as early as Oct. 28.
He noted that eight ballots cast in the Northern Islands arrived on Saipan yesterday aboard a ship.
Inos casts ballot
Gov. Eloy S. Inos cast his ballot at exactly 7:33am yesterday at the Kagman Elementary School, accompanied by family members.
Inos later wished the other gubernatorial candidates good luck.
“Today is just when we try to go out and try to get people to vote and exercise their right. Let’s just hope for the best. May the best man win. Whoever wins hopefully will address the many challenging issues that the people of the CNMI faces. I see that there is an early turnout here in Kagman, which is good. I like the enthusiasm of the people and hopefully they will come up with the best decision,” he said.
“Once the elections is over, then politics is over. We should go ahead and put our heads together because I know that they have some ideas that may not be in line with mine and…I want to see where we can agree on some common goal and move forward,” he added.
All roads leading to polling stations were lined with the candidates’ supporters, all holding up banners and pictures of their candidates.
Over a thousand turned up to vote out of Precinct 3B at the Garapan Elementary School cafeteria yesterday.
Traffic began even before doors opened, with five voters waiting outside the cafeteria doors before voting began at 7am, according to election supervisor Frank Rabauliman. Five minutes before polls closed at 7pm, there was still a line present outside the GES cafeteria doors.
The final count after 7pm was at 1,092, according to Rabauliman, but he said they would verify the number again at the Multi-Purpose Center.
Juan N. Babauta, one of the independent candidates for governor, took his turn at the polls with his wife Charlene after 10am.
Gregorio Kilili Sablan, candidate for U.S. delegate, and his wife, Andrea, also showed up around that time.
Heinz Hofschneider, independent candidate for governor, also voted at GES after 5:30pm.
In Precinct 3B, a total of 396 voters cast their votes as of 7pm.
Election supervisors there said there were no complaints that day, and the process went smoothly. (With Dennis B. Chan)