VOTERS WHO APPLY TO VOTE ABSENTEE PROVIDE THE COMMISSION WITH ADDRESSES THAT THEY WANT THEIR BALLOT MAILED TO. ONCE THE BALLOTS ARE MAILED AND THE VOTER MOVES TO ANOTHER ADDRESS, THE COMMISSION HAS NO CONTROL TO FORWARD BALLOTS TO THE CHANGED ADDRESS OR TO PROVIDE ANOTHER BALLOT.

VOTERS SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING THE CORRECT ADDRESS TO THE COMMISSION. IN CASE VOTERS MOVE, THEY SHOULD MAKE ARRANGEMENTS WITH THE US POSTAL SERVICE TO HAVE THEIR MAIL FORWARED.

AGAIN, IT IS NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE COMMISSION TO LOCATE BALLOTS ALREADY SENT BY MAIL.

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The rules on fees a notary public may charge vary from state to state, and within the various territories. Some service or educational organizations, such as colleges or banks, offer notary services for free or minimal costs. Additionally, in some states it is specifically prohibited by statute for a notary to charge any fee for notarizing an absentee ballot. Therefore, before utilizing the services of a notary public, inform the notary that the document you will be signing is an absentee ballot and ask how much the notary will charge. If the fee seems high, it might be best to locate another notary. In short, before agreeing to pay a notary for services, call several notaries public to determine the standard notary fee for absentee ballots in your area.

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A section of the Federal Election Law provides that foreign nationals are prohibited from making campaign contributions to any federal, state and local office candidates.

A reading of the law, which applies to the Northern Mariana Islands, defines foreign nationals as anyone who is not a United States citizen or who is not a United States permanent resident.

This law applies to the 2003 (and maybe including the 2001) general election(s). This may mean that candidates who received campaign contributions from foreign nationals (including nonresident workers) in the 2003 (and probably the 2001) general election(s) would have to return the contributions and amend their campaign statement of account with the Public Auditor to reflect the reimbursement(s).

The Election Commission has sought a more concise interpretation of this law from the Attorney General's Office and will make that interpretation public once it is received.

Candidates should be informed, however, that this is a federal law and it is the United States Attorney who would be responsible for its enforcement. The Commission, Office of the Public Auditor and the Attorney General are duty bound to report any and all violation(s) of this federal law to the United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands for his disposition and/or enforcement.

For further information, please call the Public Auditor's Office at 322-6481, the Attorney General's Office at 664-2341 or the Election Commission at 664-VOTE.

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The Commonwealth Election Commission has changed its website hosting that consequently also changed the Commission's email addresses and contact information.

All emails to the Commission should be addressed to one of the following addresses:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additionally, you could also send emails through the contact link here.

Anyone needing any additional information pertaining to these changes could call the Commission at telephone number (670) 664-VOTE or by facsimile to (670) 664-8689.

Thank you.

 

 


NOTARY ACT AMENDED

House Bill No. 14-135 was signed into Public Law 14-52 on January 19, 2005. This law amends both the Notary Act and the Consumer Protection Act.

The Notary Public Act was originally enacted during the Trust Territory period and this is the first time it has been amended. Change was long overdue, as many of the provisions were out of date with the current needs of the Commonwealth.

For example, P.L. 14-52 raised the fees notaries could legally charge from as little as 0.$25 to $2.00. The Attorney General's Office, who supported passage of P.L. 14-52, said the fees had not changed since the Trust Territory and were insufficient to cover the costs to be a notary. Now the fees reflect the cost of doing business.

P.L. 14-52 also improves the enforcement power of the Attorney General's Office. If notaries are found to charge more than P.L. 14-52 allows, for instance, the Attorney General's Office plans to fine them and force them to repay their customers. The Attorney General's Office now has the option to bring such a proceeding as a civil, criminal, or administrative enforcement action. It also has the choice to bring an action regarding a violation of the Notary Act as a Consumer Protection violation.

Previously it was difficult to bring enforcement actions and force notaries to repay their customers. P.L. 14-52 will make it easier for the Attorney General's Office to do both because it provides them with more options. Being able to bring more enforcement actions administratively will also help enforcement.

CEC Note: Every jurisdiction in the United States, including its insular jurisdictions, have laws that limits the amounts that notary publics can charge for their notarial services. Thus, if you are charged more than $5.00 for notary public for your voter registration or absentee voting affidavit, you may call that state's or jurisdicton's consumer counsel to file a complaint.

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