Sunday, November 8, 2009

Election Results?

The Saipan Tribune is posting results here.

I personally find these results very hard to believe.
I don't believe Jacinta Kaipat could get more votes than Tina Sablan for senator. I don't believe it.

I also find it very difficult to believe that Heinz and Benigno are in a neck-and-neck race.

Either we have voters who are just clueless about the real nature of our politicians and what they are doing to our Commonwealth, or we have corruption that has become rampant.

I don't think all of our voters or even the majority of them are clueless. And that leads me to question the integrity of our election commission.

I'm disappointed with the results from Precinct 5 and the mayor's race. I can believe these results, although they are hard to swallow.

This is really, really bad.
We need United Nations monitors at the run-off election.


The Saipan Blogger said...

I noticed there are simple math errors on the Commonwealth Election Commission website. They incorrectly totaled the votes for Roman Benavente. I wonder if there were any other mistakes? Weren't they just as tired as the rest of us at 4 AM when they were counting?

Anonymous said...

Tina and Angelo both lost, presumably. That's god awful.

Saipan Writer said...

anon, hard to tell if that's sincere or sarcasm.

angelo was in a big field. He did all right. and Donald Flores is a surprise winner, imho, not my choice, but a lot better than some of the other choices.

Tina also lost to politicians with well-oiled machines and voter appeal. I can see Ralph Torres and pete Reyes winning. What I really can't believe is Jacinta getting more votes than Tina. I just don't believe it.

But yeah. if you were sincere, I do think it's too bad that neither angelo nor tina were elected.

Anonymous said...

I'm still baffled by that Jay Solly eleventh hour poll. What's up with that? Hate to read too much into it, but something about it bothers me.

Anonymous said...

do you think the election was fixed? there were definitely some irregularities, like the sudden unusually huge number of absentee ballots requested in the last 30 days, the fact that it took 11 hours to count the absentee ballots when they were received at noon, the fact that it took forever to count ballots between precincts with no explanation for the delay, the fact that heinz was posting decent leads over ben and then there was a loooooooooong delay and all of a sudden ben surged ahead, the fact that the preliminary results for rota and tinian were withheld until the very end of the morning with no explanation at all, the fact that covenant people were known to be going around telling people that heinz was going to win the first round of the election, but fitial had it in the bag for the runoff...

bring on the united nations. and the fbi.

Anonymous said...

What would it take to call for a new election?

Anonymous said...

The only strange thing about the absentee ballots is that they are strongly skewed pro-Heinz, rather than roughly paralleling the on-island voting results, as they usually do. In fact, Heinz is the only winning (or leading) candidate for any office who would have lost (or trailed) without the benefit of absentee ballots -- except for Republican Senator Jude Hofschneider of Tinian, whom the absentees vaulted all the way from fourth place to second.

As for the Governor, he did not "surge ahead" until the San Jose results were counted. That area has always been his strongest support base, in the last election as well as this one. Anyone finding it strange or suspicious that he should do especially well there has not been paying much attention.

Anonymous said...

On the Cinta-vs-Tina issue, it's worth noting that Cinta's vote total (2784) only slightly exceeds the total year-2000 Carolinian population of Saipan (2645), while Tina's total (2331) more than doubles the total year-2000 haole population (1120).

Yeah, I know, people don't all vote on ethnic/cultural lines, you can't presume, you can't stereotype, etc., etc. All true. Still, people do have their own natural bases of support, and Tina actualy seems to have been more successful in going beyond hers than Cinta was.

Institutional Defender said...

There are poll officials, observers, and election officials who support all the CNMI parties.

If there were any irregularities there would be a great hue and cry.

For a lawyer to even make such a suggestion, based on her own candidate preferences and limited associations, borders on the irresponsible.

When Babauta lost in 2005, you were also wondering why.

Voters and jurors both possess that wonderful quality -- common sense.

I thank them for it!

Those who did not make it this time will have plenty of future opportunities.

Saipan Writer said...

Hi, institutional defender.

I also defend our institutions and freedoms. And no, I'm not irresponsible.

I know there are observers and such from both parties. But I also know that no one can be everywhere at all times; that corruption exists; that corruption is devious; and that if we never question we are worse than ignorant.

I'm not arriving at my conclusions because "my candidates" lost. I've been voting a very long time and my choices nearly always lose. I tend to be in the minority. I realize that.

I'm questioning the results because of 2, well 3, oddities. Yes, this assessment depends on my opinion. But I live in this community. I work in this community. I intersect with a wide variety of people in this community. I don't always hear their opinions on voting, but I have a sense of their concerns.

And so some of the results seem very skewed to me.

One is Fitial's very high numbers. I expected a run-off between Heinz and Fitial (or possibly Heinz and Juan Pan). Despite Heinz's boast, I did not expect him to more than 50% of the vote on the first ballot. But a near tie is just really hard to believe--more support for Fitial than he had last election?

Given the economy, given the problems we've faced in the past four years, and given the strong penchant of people everywhere to vote based on their personal situations--this just seems too unlikely for even the CNMI electorate.

The other two races that trouble me are, as noted, Jacinta coming in ahead of Tina. One writer talks of Tina's "base" as the haoles and Jacinta's "base" as the Carolinians. I think this is wrong-thinking. There are some who will vote for Jacinta because she's Carolinian--family, some who like diversity or representation and want to promote it. But people do talk and they do vote based on what people have done.

Jacinta's work with Beautify CNMI, which gets praised in the blog community, is not as much appreciated on the ground. It's not going to win her a lot of votes. And she's antagonized a LOT of people, not just liberal haoles, with her stance on labor issues and comments about women.

Tina has been in the community, held open forums, gotten lots of favorable consideration for the open government work, and been nice and pleasant, even as she speaks on issues. People here like nice, they like the smile. Even when they disagree with the politics.

And in an island-wide election, it just seems inconceivable that Jacinta would do better than Tina. As noted--this would not change the outcome of the election of Pete Reyes and Ralph Torres, which is totally unremarkable (on the unusual/ corruption/ etc. issues)--even though these were not "my candidates" either.

The third startling result--Ramon Basa winning in precinct 5. He's not well known; he did almost no campaigning; and he was running against others who were very prominent.

I'm not surprised in precinct 5 that Fred Guerrero won--he's well known. I would not be surprised by Jesse Torres or Rosemond Santos winning. Even Greg Cruz is well known. I expected Willie Bundridge to come in last.

But this win is just a real surprise.

It's hard to believe that the Covenant party could be doing so well given the failure of the party to live up to its promises from the last election; given the even worse economic situation we have; given the feeling of hopelessness and bitterness everywhere here. In times like these, people usually choose "change"--even if it means choosing a former same-old; they rarely stick so loyally to the status quo. Because the status quo is not good.


And so, I question these results.

And no, I don't think it's irresponsible to do so. Or to suggest that we have neutral oversight for the run-off election.

I'm not sure I would want the feds (as Wendy suggested). But yes, I do want elections where we all have confidence in the outcome.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
KAP said...

I think you underestimate the Carolinian vote and the advantage of being an incumbent. Fitial's running battle with the feds is also very attractive to a lot of people.

Cinta has that, except the incumbency. Even her silly remarks about maids probably didn't hurt her among people likely to vote for her and may have helped.

KAP said...

Oh, Ray's a real gladhander. A lot of people like that style, and he worked pretty hard.

And, though I've been hearing for more than a dozen elections that we've got to get past voting familia, we haven't.

Finally, I was surprised the Governor got as many absentee ballots as he did (more than last time). A lot of those voters left the Commonwealth because of the economy.

Saipan Writer said...

Interesting to hear about Ray Basa's key to success.

I hope I don't under-estimate the power of the Carolinian vote. I don't think it is united or uniform, though.

And as I mentioned in a previous blog, I understand people voting family; understand that connection as a legitimate, if overrated, factor in the consideration.

I hope Sam McPhetres has his students do some studies to analyzie and figure out the vote his year. I think that would be fascinating!

Saipan Writer said...

I finally got to consider what was bothering me about one of the comments on this thread. I deleted it because I think it could be considered libel. (Not that it necessarily was--it had some wiggle room in the way it was worded. But it was close enough to make me uncomfortable.)

It's okay to ask questions, to wonder. It's okay to give opinions.

When you state things as fact and name names, they need to be true. The comment I deleted may in fact have been true, but I have no way to verify it and thus, can't leave it posted on my blog. Because if not true, it might be considered libelous.

Thanks for understanding.