2020 General Election Safety Plan

Pursuant to Public Law 35-96, the Guam Election Commission submitted GEC Resolution no. 2020-04 to I Liheslaturan Guåhan on Monday, September 14, 2020. Please click the link above to view the original document. The contents of the Safety Plan are pasted below for easy reference.

GEC Board Resolution 2020-04
RELATIVE TO CREATING A SAFETY PLAN
TO PROVIDE FOR A SAFE 2020 GENERAL ELECTION

WHEREAS, on Monday, July 20, 2020, I Maga’hågan Guåhan signed Pubic Law 35-95 permitting absentee voting for all qualified voters of Guam in the 2020 Primary and General Elections to mitigate the public health risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and,

WHEREAS, on Friday, August 14, 2020, I Maga’hågan Guåhan signed Executive Order 2020-27 relative to declaring Pandemic Condition of Readiness (“PCOR”) 1; and,

WHEREAS, on Monday, August 21, 2020, I Maga’hågan Guåhan signed Executive Order 2020-28 relative to ordering Guam residents to stop the spread of COVID-19 by staying home; and,

WHEREAS, on Thursday, August 27, 2020, I Maga’hågan Guåhan signed Executive Order 2020-29 relative to extending the Public Health Emergency and modified Stay-at-Home Order; and,

WHEREAS, on Friday, August 28, 2020, I Maga’hågan Guåhan signed Pubic Law 35-96 cancelling the 2020 Primary Election to provide for a safer 2020 General Election; and,

WHEREAS, pursuant to Public Law 35-96, Section 5, the Director of the Guam Election Commission shall transmit a resolution to the Speaker of I Liheslaturan Guåhan detailing its safety measures and mitigation efforts to ensure a safe 2020 General Election no later than September 14, 2020,

BE IT RESOLVED, the Guam Election Commission presents its Safety Plan to address the mitigation precautions to protect the voters, staff, and election workers from the COVID-19 virus and to provide for a fair, equal, and safe election. Building on measures first implemented during the 2020 Special Election of Mayor in Yoña, the GEC shall employ enhanced safety measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

1. SAFETY PLAN ADAPTABILITY – Given the everchanging nature of this unprecedented pandemic environment, the GEC shall make changes to this safety plan optimizing available resources in line with future executive orders and in concert with recommendations from the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS).

2. IN-OFFICE ABSENTEE VOTING – Beginning on Saturday, September 19, 2020, forty-five days before the 2020 General Election, and continuing through Friday, October 30, 2020, in accordance with P.L. 35-95 and P.L. 35-96, the GEC shall open In Office Absentee Voting (3 GCA § 10107) for all qualified voters applying in person at the GEC office in Hagåtña, and at temporary satellite offices that the GEC shall establish in the villages noted below. The Board believes that expanding In Office Absentee voting will significantly reduce the demand for in person voting on Election Day. All voters will be able to vote at the GEC office in Hagåtña and at any of the temporary satellite offices the GEC establishes. No voter will be turned away. The schedule for voting at satellite offices may be expanded depending on available trained staff to service the satellite offices and provisions for adequate ballot security.

Satellite Locations:

  1. Merizo Martyrs Memorial Elementary School, Merizo
  2. George Washington High School, Mangilao
  3. F.B. Leon Guerrero Middle School, Yigo
  4. Okkodo High School, Dededo

Accommodations at GEC Office and satellite office locations

  1. Curbside Voting available for voters with disabilities.
  2. ExpressVote, universal ballot marking device, available for all voters.
  3. Voters at satellite office locations will be serviced on a first come, first served basis.
  1. BALLOT SECURITY
    1. Official ballots are in the custody of two (2) election officials at all times.
    2. Official ballots are stored in the GEC vault, which is under 24-hour video surveillance.
    3. Peace officers from other Government of Guam agencies will join Guam Police Department (GPD) officers to provide ballot security.
    4. Peace officers will escort official ballots when travelling to satellite office locations, will remain there throughout the day, and will accompany the ballots until they are secured in the GEC vault.
    5. Election Day ballots will be escorted to polling sites by peace officers and custody is turned over to precinct officials at the polling site. Cast ballots, along with precinct officials, are transported to Election Return Center (ERC) by Department of Public Works (DPW) buses accompanied by GPD officers. Precinct Officials are relieved of their duties only after successfully returning custody of the ballots to GEC.
    6. Voted ballots will be locked and sealed from the time the first ballot is deposited into the ballot box until their opening by the GEC Executive Director for the ballot reconciliation process.
    7. Ballot Reconciliation Process (at GEC Office and satellite office locations)
      1. Unused ballot stock inventory is taken before polls open each day.
      2. After polls close, election officials ensure the accurate accounting of the number of absentee applications, affidavit envelopes, signatures in logbook, ballots issued, spoiled ballots, and unused ballots.

  1. PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES – The GEC is taking every precaution to protect the voters and the community-at-large from the spread of COVID-19.
    1. Polling rooms will be disinfected before and after Election Day.
    2. Polling sites and polling rooms will be equipped with disinfecting solution to sanitize frequently touched surfaces before and after every voter, including but not limited to, door handles, voting booths, tables, and pens.
    3. Restrooms at polling sites will be monitored and cleaned throughout the day.
    4. Voters will be encouraged to bring a blue or black ink pen.
    5. Masks will be required for entry to polling sites. Masks will be provided as needed.
    6. DPHSS posters on mitigation measures will be displayed throughout polling sites.
    7. Precinct officials and voters will be screened upon entering the polling site.
    8. Personal protective equipment (PPE) (face shields, masks, and gloves) will be provided for all election workers.
      1. Masks and gloves will be available for voters.

  1. SOCIAL DISTANCING – Social distancing measures will be monitored by precinct officials in the polling room and election workers will enforce social distancing measures at all other places within the polling location.
    1. The GEC will work with the Democratic Party of Guam and the Republican Party of Guam to strongly discourage political parties and all candidates from gathering or setting up hospitality tents outside of the polling sites.
    2. In partnership with the Guam Department of Education (DOE), alternate polling rooms have been designated to minimize crowds.
    3. Sneeze guards will be in place to separate and protect precinct officials and voters when physical distance cannot be maintained.
    4. Curbside voting services will be expanded for both In Office Absentee Voting at GEC and satellite locations. Curbside voters will be required to turn off auto air conditioners when interacting with election workers (guidance from DPHSS).
    5. For the Election Return Center, only the first thirty (30) precincts will enter and the remaining will enter as precincts clear out.

  1. HIRE and TRAIN ADDITIONAL POLL WORKERS – One hundred fifty (150) poll workers will be hired and trained to enforce precautionary anti-COVID-19 measures (refer to Item 3) and provide logistical support to precinct officials servicing curbside voters on Election Day.

  1. DPHSS TRAINING and GUIDANCE – The GEC continues to work with DPHSS to keep abreast of precautionary measures to combat the COVID-19 virus on Election Day and throughout all election processes.
  2. PCOR PLAN OF ACTION
PCOR 2 & 3PCOR 1Stay-at-Home Directive
GEC Office Election HeadquartersOpen to public.Closed to public.Closed to public.
In-Office Absentee Polling Room & CurbsideOpen to voters for for absentee voting.Open to voters for for absentee voting.Open to voters for for absentee voting.
Homebound VotingNormal operations with PPEs.Assessment of Residence.

Full gear PPE (pending guidance from DPHSS)
Assessment of Residence.

Full gear PPE (pending guidance from DPHSS)
Polling Sites and Precincts on Election DayAll precautionary measures will be enforced at the polling place. See Items 2 and 3.All precautionary measures will be enforced at the polling place. See Items 2 and 3.All precautionary measures will be enforced at the polling place. See Items 2 and 3.
Election Return Center
UOG Fieldhouse
Test Election,
November 1st
Open to Public.Essential staff, political party representative, and media only. Livestreamed.Essential staff, political party representative, and media only. Livestreamed.
Election Return Center
UOG Fieldhouse
Election Day
8:00 p.m., November 3rd through November 4th
-Limited to essential staff, precinct officials, political party representative, media only
-30 precincts to reconcile at a time
-Create stand-by area in perimeter hallways outside the main floor of the fieldhouse
-Staggered schedule for precincts
-Collect supplies and provisional ballots prior to entering ERC
-Limited to essential staff, precinct officials, political party representative, media only
-30 precincts to reconcile at a time
-Create stand-by area in perimeter hallways outside the main floor of the fieldhouse
-Staggered schedule for precincts
-Collect supplies and provisional ballots prior to entering ERC
-Limited to essential staff, precinct officials, political party representative, media only
-30 precincts to reconcile at a time
-Create stand-by area in perimeter hallways outside the main floor of the fieldhouse
-Staggered schedule for precincts
-Collect supplies and provisional ballots prior to entering ERC

DULY ADOPTED BY THE GUAM ELECTION COMMISSION MEMBERS ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2020.

/S/ Michael J. Perez, Chairman
/S/ Alice M. Taijeron, Vice Chairperson
/S/ Joseph P. Mafnas, Commissioner
/S/ Gerard C. Crisostomo, Commissioner
/S/ Antonia R. Gumataotao, Commissioner
/S/ Carissa E. Pangelinan, Commissioner
/S/ G. Patrick Civille, Commissioner