February 10, 2012
Introduction of Bill No. 413-31 (COR); An Act To Repeal And Reenact Chapters 1 through 19 of Title 3 Of The Guam Code Annotated, Relative To Guam Elections.
Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr., as Chairman of the Committee on Election Reform, introduced Bill 413 on January 24, 2012 at the request of the Guam Election Commission, as provided pursuant to Public Law 31-61.
The proposed draft Bill was submitted by the GEC on January 2012. It is intended that pursuant to this Act, Guam’s election codes shall be revised so as to address and resolve many of the problems encountered during the 2010 Gubernatorial Election, as well as other elections. Subject to Legislative review and action, the proposed revisions in this Bill are intended to be applicable during the upcoming 2012 election.
Senator Rodriguez stated, “Contrary to a recent editorial, the Committee and I have been working closely with the Guam Election Commission during the past year on numerous issues. Early on in my term, I established an Election Reform Task Force which has been examining various election issues. Included among these was the mandate of P.L. 31-61 for the GEC to review our election statutes, and propose the necessary revisions to address the problems continually encountered. In addition to the meetings of the task force, the Committee also conducted an Informational Public Hearing on October 26, 2011 in the Legislative Hearing Room. The participation of the GEC Director, board Chairman, and key staff have kept the Committee appraised as to the ongoing activities of the GEC.”
“When you consider the controversy and challenges encountered during the past several gubernatorial elections, it’s easy to see why the careful review and amending of our election codes, and accompanying rules and procedures are sorely needed. This work product of the Election Commission is intended to address the problems we repeatedly encounter,” Senator Rodriguez stated.
He further stated, “I shall be conducting a public hearing on the Bill, and will be immediately reporting it out for the February session of the Legislature. It is important that we expeditiously proceed with the review of this comprehensive, 172 page bill repealing and reenacting 19 chapters of Title 3 of the Guam Code Annotated.”
“I’m pleased that the GEC has now submitted this for Legislative action. This is phase two of a process begun in 2011 through legislative actions mandating the careful review and crafting of significant amendments to make our statutes more functional and less subject to challenge and controversy. This Bill is time sensitive in that it is also mandated by P.L. 31-61 that this Bill, once enacted into law, shall be the election code to be followed in the upcoming September primary and November general election.” Senator Rodriguez concluded.
The Public Hearing for Bill No. 407-13 (COR) was conducted at 2:00 PM on Thursday, February 09, 2012, in the Guam Legislature’s Public Hearing Room.
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