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Governor approves election bills

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GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Tuesday signed into law Senate Bills 21-67 and 21-68, which were both introduced by Sen. Sixto K. Igisomar.

S.B. 21-67, which is now P.L. 21-33, allows Commonwealth Election Commission members to appear, attend, participate and vote in an official meeting with the use of telephone, video call, or other electronic means of communication.

S.B. 21-68, which is now Public Law 21-34, suspends certain election rules  to mitigate the public health risk due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new law adjusts the early voting time and allows for additional polling precincts. It extends the hours of early voting and election day, authorizes curbside voting and procedure, authorizes the CEC to collect absentee ballots seven days before and 14 days after the Nov. 3 general elections, and gives the CEC the flexibility to make necessary changes to the election procedures.

Specifically, the measure requires that polling places for early voting open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Sunday.

Early voting for Saipan, Tinian, Rota and the Northern Islands will start on Oct. 27.

The CEC can now designate more polling places to adhere to social distancing protocols.

Moreover, the new law allows curbside voting so a registered voter may vote in his or her vehicle at a designated curbside polling place   “to diminish or reduce the voter’s exposure to the Covid-19 public health threat.”

 

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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