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12 23Thu11262015


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Governor explains why he vetoed election reform bill

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DURING a media briefing yesterday, Gov. Eddie Calvo explained why he vetoed Bill 413-31, aka the election reform bill.

Calvo remained true to his word that he would veto the bill as he did so last week.

The governor said there were some provisions that were unacceptable, including a section that touches on accountability of the ballots from the 2010 gubernatorial election.

Calvo also believes there was “mischief that was occurring from the previous campaign’s competition.”

“This was going to complicate the issues from the election,” he said.

The governor also referred to the interpretation of the counting of ballots between the local and federal elections.

“I call it a Hail Mary pass to try to effectuate the change in those election results. As far as I’m concerned, it’s over. It’s been counted twice and we should start focusing on moving forward,” he said. “It’s counterproductive to the best interest of the people of Guam.”

Calvo also admits there are good points in the bill, but he said these would need to be discussed thoroughly.

“That’s why there’s been a delay in sending a transmittal letter. It was a fairly lengthy bill and we had to go over many of those provisions that would be advantageous towards improving the electoral process, but also taking into account some of the areas where there were concerns,” the governor said, adding he is willing to work with one of the senators on another measure similar to the election reform bill – or he might even introduce one himself.

A transmittal letter explaining the governor’s veto of Bill 413-31 has yet to be received by the office of Speaker Judi Won Pat. Just before the weekend, an announcement was made that the transmittal letter would be sent. But as of 5 p.m. yesterday, it hasn’t been submitted to the Speaker’s office.


Sen. Rory Respicio meanwhile has criticized the governor’s veto, calling his actions “unfortunate.”

“He acted impulsively and commented on a bill even before he received it," Respicio said. "He made statements that this bill is about the 2010 general election, and proclaimed that the past election was over and ‘people should just move on.’ Calvo did not even take into consideration how the election reform bill would reform the way elections are conducted here on Guam. The Guam Election Commission members welcomed the non-binding audit. Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo even appealed to the governor to sign this bill into law.

“I am hopeful that my colleagues in the Guam Legislature will join all those who deserve to know the truth surrounding the 2010 general election so that in the future, Guam's voters can be confident that they will have the free and fair elections they deserve.”

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