In the last general election, only 71% of the voting electorate cast their vote – the lowest percentage for any gubernatorial election in Guam’s history. However, a trio of bills before the Guam Legislature is hoping to change that. Freshman senator Mary Torres hit the ground running introducing not one, but a trio of measures upon her first month in office. “I’ve introduced three bills to modernize and streamline voter registration on Guam,” she explained. Among the trio of measures include Bill 23 allowing for online registration. “And studies have shown that it saves tax payers dollars, it increases the accuracy of voter rolls, and it provides a convenience option for citizens who wish to register to vote,” she added.
Torres says online voter registration is a growing national trend across the United States. It’s a trend University of Guam graduate student Anthony Quenga supports. He said, “I agree with the intent of the proposed legislation that creates a voter registration process that is widely accessible and I think widening accessibility encourages stronger civic engagement from our citizens.”
But not everyone is sold on the idea including Joe Garrido, who feared the proposal would open the door to “illegal aliens” or non-US citizens to vote. “I cannot support your bill at this point in time,” he declared.