Candidate for attorney general wants 'corruption buster' to appear next to his name on the ballot
Douglas Moylan, candidate for attorney general, wanted the phrase “corruption buster” to appear next to his name on the ballot for the Nov. 6 general elections but the Guam Election Commission has turned down his request.
This prompted the former attorney general to file a complaint asking GEC to reconsider its denial of his request and alleging that the commission’s executive director, Maria Pangelinan, violated the Guam Election Law and the 2006 GEC publication "A candidates Handbook for Elected Public Office."
In his complaint filed Sept. 15, Moylan cited a Guam election law which provides that “Any person who is a candidate for any office may, at the time of filing his or her nominating petition, or, thereafter, as the Commission by uniform regulations may prescribe, file with the Commission a request that his or her name be further identified on the ballot by the addition of an identifying word or phrase not derogatory or obscene and not exceeding 20 letters, in which event it shall be the duty of the commission to comply.”
In the ballot for the Aug. 25 primary election, the phrase “Truth & Justice” appeared next to Moylan’s name.
In an email sent to GEC program coordinator Helen Atalig at 11:25 a.m. on Sept. 13, Moylan asked that his “identifier” be changed to "corruption buster" on the general elections ballot. Atalig acknowledged the request with a note, “I will print your request for our staff to include it on the ballot.”
“This was a timely submission, both in the legal sense and the practical sense, both because 3 G.C.A. § 7115 allows such instructions to be submitted after the filing of the candidates nominating petition ("thereafter"), and because the ballots had not yet been sent to the printer, the order of candidates having not yet been determined,” added Moylan, who is running against Leevin Camacho.
On Sept, 14, Moylan received an email from Pangelinan informing him that GEC “determined that no changes will be made with regard to how candidates' names (including the second line) will appear on the general election ballot, after being presented a request for changes.”
Moylan said GEC's “unexpected rejection” of his instruction “appears to be a clear violation by the GEC (government) to improperly influence the outcome of the Attorney General's election results, by preventing a certified candidate to choose the language of that person's choosing for the ballot.”
He also noted that “neither Guam law nor the GEC's rules restrict nor bind any candidate to the 20 characters (language) used in the recent primary election.
“Each election is treated separately. Moreover, in my experience in elections past as a candidate and as a former multi-term G.O.P. selected Guam Election Commission board member myself, candidates have always been allowed to change their 20 characters language before the ballots are sent for printing,” Moylan said.