Despite the magnitude of Super Typhoon Yutu’s devastation in the CNMI, Saipan voters still managed to show up in droves at several polling places last Tuesday.
Yutu, which made landfall in the CNMI three weeks ago, hit hardest the southern part of Saipan and left villages in Precinct 1 severely damaged. Villages in Precinct 1 include Koblerville, San Antonio, San Vicente, and Dandan.
Despite this, Precinct 1 voters did not hesitate to participate in the election. According to Herman P. Sablan, Precinct 1A and 1B-1 poll supervisor, this year’s election was “interesting and a bit more complicated because we had the calamity that just took place and people are still struggling to recover, yet they still came out to vote.”
As part of the election committee, Sablan said he and other staff are also still recovering but are making the effort to ensure that everything ran smoothly in their precincts.
“We too are still recovering but we also had to think of the logistics part of the election,” he said.
Throughout election day, Sablan said the flow of people was a bit slow but consistent and no major altercations were reported.
“The flow of people was…slow but it was consistent…everybody was very peaceful,” he said.
Babauta-Sablan camp election observer Frances Sablan did see minor altercations in the crowd of voters but election committee staff quickly resolved those.
Sablan said that whoever wins the election, there should be no hard feelings. “I hope that, at the end, we all just smile and enjoy the results regardless…I wish all the parties the best of luck,” she said.