Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Guam is on its way to having a record-breaking voter registration heading into the Nov. 3 general election.
“It could reach 56,000 or more,” Guam Election Commission Executive Director Maria Pangelinan said on Tuesday.
Between 2004 and 2018, voter registration during general elections was only up to 55,000-plus. The number reached 61,052 in 2002, when there was no purging of the voter rolls at the time.
In January 2019 the GEC removed a record-high 7,287 individuals from the voter rolls for failing to vote in the two previous general elections.
Pangelinan also said days before the canceled 2020 primary election, voter registration had reached 55,174, the highest since 2002.
Of the latest voter registration numbers, 3,970 were from the new motor voter registration which, Pangelinan said, was a factor in the increased voter registration especially in a non-gubernatorial election.
Pangelinan and election commissioners, however, said the ultimate goal is to drive up actual voter turnout.
While GEC posted record voter registration numbers in recent years, actual voter turnout was also at record lows.
Dating app and voting
Pangelinan said her office received a call from a Guam voter who informed them that using the Tinder dating app raises awareness about voter registration.
“According to the voter, he used the dating site Tinder and one of the questions was, ‘Are you a registered voter?’ If your answer is no, the dating app redirects you to the GEC website so you can register to vote,” Pangelinan said.
It turns out, it’s not only Tinder that’s encouraging users to register to vote while they search for potential dates.
Other dating apps such as OkCupid and Bumble are also into it, according to national media reports.
“We don’t know who needs to hear this, but you’ll get so many more matches if you let them know you’re a registered voter,” tweeted OkCupid.
On Guam, voter registration has resumed but via online only at the GEC website at gec.guam.gov.
When the COVID-19 lockdown is lifted, GEC expects to resume in-person voter registration.