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"Letter of Appreciation" by Samuel McPhetres (November 7, 2011)

Although the results of the November 4 advisory referendum were far from satisfactory, I do wish to express my appreciation to everyone who took part in it.

The smooth working operation would never have been possible without the extremely valuable assistance and guidance of Mr. Robert Guerrero and his very talented assistant Ms. Julie Villagomez and others on the staff who not only guided us through the setup and tabulation but also provided oversight for each polling place.

The Office of the Public Auditor also provided invaluable supervision of the conduct of the voting. The volunteers from that office provided a very valuable service for long hours.

Special thanks go to IT&E which loaned us six cell phones to establish a communications network on voting day. These help to avoid a huge gas bill.

Members of the Senate staff and the Legislative Bureau also provided very valuable logistics support. Senator Ralph Torres and Senate President Paul Mangloña were enthusiastic in their support of the overall project.

Thanks also go to the NMC Office of the President and the NMC Office of Institutional Advancement which helped to coordinate press releases and other outreach projects.

There is no way that I can express my appreciation to the dedication and enthusiasm expressed by the nearly 100 students who took part in setting up, conducting, and closing down a very complex operation. We should all be proud of the extra efforts that the students made over and above classroom performance requirements. It’s a great sign for the future of the people of the CNMI.

Last, but definitely not least, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to those 841 citizens who got the word, felt the need, and came to the polls to cast their ballots. This is what citizenship day was supposed to be all about. Thank you all.

Sam McPhetres
Advisory Referendum Coordinator

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