Absentee ballots may continue to be problematic

  31 Oct 2016

By: L.N. Reklai

October 30, 2016 (Koror) Senator Joel Toribiong said that his letter to Palau Election Commission was not just his opinion but that he had a record substantiating his claims.

Senator Toribiong provided a copy of a recorded phone call from Mr. Hilario Rechesengel to him requesting that he look into the situation in Guam where Hilario said that on October 20th, contrary to PEC Vice Chairman Udui’s report, people at Tommy’s campaign headquarter were already conducting election on October 20th before anyone else had received their absentee ballots. [restrict]

In his letter to Palau Election Commission Temporary Administrator, Toribiong expressed the concerns related to him by Mr. Hilario Rechesengel in Guam.

When asked, PEC Vice Chairman Udui said that this is not possible and that Election Commission keeps a log of all absentee ballots sent out.  He said that the first batch was sent out on the 20th.  The second was on the 21st and the 3rd was on the 23rd.

“We were informed by Post Office not to send on Saturday because the plane will be off-loaded in Yap and the possibility of ballots being misrouted or delayed can happen.  Plus Sunday, Guam post office will be closed so they will still have to receive on Monday and process. That’s why the last batch was sent on the 23rd because it will then arrive in Guam on Monday morning,” reported Udui.  “Once we mail the ballots at the post, after that is managed by the postal service.  We have not control or say in that,” added Udui.

According to the post office here, when mail is sent to Guam, it usually arrives there early morning.  Once there, it will need to be processed and sorted according to individual zip codes in Guam before they are placed in mail boxes.

As of yesterday, October 30th, some Palauan citizens on the US west and east coasts were already reporting that they’ve received their ballots, as well as Hawaii.

According to Election Commission Regulations, the returned ballot must be post marked no later than November 1st which is the date of this year’s general election and must be received by Palau Election no later than November 7th, 2016. [/restrict]