Northern Mariana Islands: Tabulating machines could ‘skip’ Article XII initiative on ballots if ordered by court, says election official | Marianas Variety

Tabulating machines, if so ordered by the federal court, could be programmed to skip House Legislative Initiative 18-1, according to court documents submitted in support of a motion for sequestration of ballots pending appeal of a federal lawsuit challenging Article XII. In his declaration, Commonwealth Election Commission executive director Robert A. Guerrero said, “I have confirmed with ES&S [or Election Systems & Software] that the tabulating machines could be coded in such a manner as to ‘skip’ a certain section of the ballots. The proper code needs to be entered into the tabulating machines before the [election] Commission begins tabulating the ballots. If the court so ordered, the tabulating machines could be programmed to skip Legislative 18-1” on the ballots for the Nov. 4, 2014 elections. On Wednesday, District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona said an Oct. 29, 2014 motion hearing will be held, since a decision on the motion for sequestration was needed by Nov. 3, 2014 “in order for any relief the court may grant to be effective.”

Northern Mariana Islands: Judge dismisses Davis’ lawsuit vs Election Commission | Saipan Tribune

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has dismissed the lawsuit filed by John H. Davis Jr., a U.S. citizen who wants to stop the Commonwealth Election Commission from denying U.S. citizens who are not of Northern Marianas descent the right to vote on any issue regarding Article 12 of the CNMI Constitution or on any other issues. In an order issued Thursday, Manglona, however, allowed Davis 14 days to file a second amended complaint redressing deficiencies in his lawsuit. Manglona cited that it is expressly the province of Congress to “ appropriate legislation” the provisions of the 14th and 15th Amendments.

Guam: Guam and Saipan Make Tempting Targets for Delegate-Hungry GOP Candidates | The Daily Beast

Until this week, the last time Guam and Saipan were fought over was during World War II. However, as the GOP presidential primary season goes on and on and on and on, the caucuses held on Guam and Saipan, the main island of the Northern Mariana Islands, will loom surprisingly large. Because of the strange delegate math the GOP uses, these relatively unpopulated islands in the middle of Pacific Ocean will combine to send six more delegates to the Republican convention in Tampa as the crucial early state of New Hampshire. This normally would make for a quirky factoid, paired with the fact that Guam is apparently home to the world’s largest Kmart, or that Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, took off from the Northern Marianas. But the increasingly fraught nature of the Republican race means that their presidential caucuses tomorrow will actually matter.

Northern Mariana Islands: US citizen sues to be allowed to vote on Mariana Islands Article 12 issues | Saipan Tribune

Marianas High School vice principal John H. Davis Jr. is suing the Commonwealth Election Commission to stop it from denying U.S. citizens who are not of Northern Marianas descent the right to vote on any issue regarding Article 12 of the CNMI Constitution or on any other issue.

Davis, through counsel Jeanne H. Rayphand, also asked the U.S. District Court for the NMI yesterday to declare that Article 18 Section 5(c) of the CNMI Constitution violates the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and is invalid, null, and void. Article 12 limits landownership in the CNMI only to those of Northern Marianas descent. It is up for voters’ review later this year.

Northern Mariana Islands: Man’amko preview AutoMARK disability-friendly voting machine | Saipan Tribune

Congregates at the Aging Center will now be able to use the new voting machine of the Commonwealth Election Commission when casting their votes in next year’s election. Executive director Robert A. Guerrero of the Election Commission, Raymond Diaz of the Council on Developmental Disabilities, and Thomas J. Camacho of the Disability Policy & Programs Office were at the center yesterday to conduct a presentation on how to use the AutoMARK accessible voting machine.

“The new voting machine is going to be available in the next election,” Diaz told his audience composed of about 60 man’amko and 20 caregivers of the center’s homebound clients. Diaz said the machine allows voters who have disabilities to cast their votes using any part of their body instead of the traditional way of voting by pen and paper.

Northern Mariana Islands: 2,000 Northern Mariana Islands voters register – will decide on alienation rule | Marianas Variety

About 2,000 Northern Marianas Descent voters who will decide on the land alienation rule have so far registered with the Commonwealth Election Commission. But CEC Executive Director Robert Guerrero in an interview on Wednesday said this does not mean that the CNMI has 2,000 NMD’s only.

Public Law 17-40, which was signed by Gov. Benigno R. Fitial last March, creates with the election commission a Northern Marianas Descent Registry “for the purpose of maintaining official listings and records of persons of Northern Marianas descent.”

The CNMI Constitution provides “that only persons of Northern Marianas descent can vote on constitutional  amendments affecting the protections against alienation of land.”