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Local absentee balloting begins tomorrow for run-off election

fili@samoanews.com

Chief Election Officer Soliai Tuipine Fuimaono says local absentee voting in the run off election for the gubernatorial race will begin tomorrow, once the results of the Nov. 6 general election become official.

Local law states that there is a seven day waiting period for any contest to be filed in the general election and thereafter the results are made official by the chief election officer.  The close of business today is the deadline to contest the general election filed with the High Court.

Unofficial results of the general election show the gubernatorial team of Lolo Matalasi Moliga and Sen. Lemanu Peleti Sialega Mauga will face off the team of Lt. Gov. Faoa Aitofele Sunia and Taufete’e John Faumuina in the Nov. 20 special election, which was called after none of the teams garnered 50 percent plus one vote in the general election.

In a statement last Friday, Soliai says that after the close of the contest period set by local law, local absentee voting shall commence beginning Wednesday, Nov. 14 through Monday Nov. 19 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Election Office in Tafuna.

This group of local absentee voters are electors who reside in American Samoa but will be “temporarily” absent from the territory on Nov. 20. Electors qualified to vote absentee are  those traveling from the territory, whether it be for medical reasons, military related assignments, employment related training, conference or assignments, or for vacation.

These electors must present proof of their temporary absence, such as airline tickets, military orders, travel authorization or medical referral.

Soliai stressed that those travelers who will return to the territory before Nov. 20 “are not eligible to vote by local absentee ballot.”

GOVERNOR AND GENERAL ELECTION

Speaking on his weekend radio program, Gov. Togiola Tulafono says the general election ended peacefully without any major incident in the territory, noting that there is one more issue for voters to decide upon, and that is the special election to decide the new governor and lieutenant governor of American Samoa.

Togiola called on residents for a peaceful and calm special election, telling residents not to allow the election and politics to ruin good relationships between families and friends.

He then congratulated Congressman Faleomavaega Eni for being re-elected to another term as American Samoa’s representative in the U.S. Congress. He also congratulated all incumbent and faipule-elect for the local House race.

The governor further thanked all unsuccessful candidates who put their names in this year’s various races, for taking up the challenge and taking part in the election process.



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