Voter turnout: 77.4 pct.

Despite 2 typhoons, a record high 14,649 voted

This year’s general election proved to be the biggest in CNMI history.

Of the record-breaking 18,926 registered voters, a total of 14,649 voted, translating to a high voter turnout of 77.4 percent, according to the Commonwealth Election Commission’s official tabulation of ballots.

In the 2014 general election, out of 17,986 registered voters, a total of 13,798 voted—a 76.7 percent turnout.

CEC administrative officer Kayla Igitol said yesterday that Tuesday’s election was a pretty good turnout, considering the situation everyone was facing after Super Typhoon Yutu’s devastation on Saipan and Tinian.

Igitol said that voter turnout on election day itself was pretty high, as well as with the early voting and absentee voting.

Igitol said the tabulation of ballots was the longest because of the situation.

“If we weren’t in this recovery stage from [Super] Typhoon Yutu I think we would have done the tabulation faster,” she said.

Igitol said they had to wait for the Rota ballots to come in as they were not able to get a charter flight at night. “That’s all due to the Yutu,” she said.

There was also an issue with the software that was programmed for the two tabulation machines, since it could not be read on the other machine, Igitol said.

She, however, stated that the machines had nothing to do with the delay in the tabulation; rather, it caused by the late arrival of Rota ballots and the long processing of absentee ballots.

Igitol said she cannot answer as to why the processing of absentee ballots took that long as she was on Rota doing the preliminary count.

Polls closed Tuesday at 7pm.

Rota ballots arrived at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe for tabulation Wednesday at 12:05pm.

On Wednesday past 6am, CEC executive director Julita A. Villagomez announced the results of tabulation from all precincts except Rota votes and absentee ballots.

Villagomez completed the reading of final tally Wednesday at 6:10pm.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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