Election Office launches registration campaign
The Election Office has already launched its “registration campaign” reaching out to all newly qualified voters to register, and reminding those whose names were purged from the voter rolls for failing to vote in the last two elections that they need to re-register for the Nov. 6 general election.
“In our form of democratic government, people have a voice in the process of electing our government leaders. In this election year, all those voices should be heard. Therefore, everyone who is eligible to vote, but hasn’t registered to vote, should do so,” Chief Election Officer Soliai Tuipine Fuimaono told Samoa News. “Have your voice heard in electing our leaders.”
Voters in the territory go to the polls on Nov. 6 to elect the governor and lieutenant governor, the delegate to Congress and their representatives in the local House of Representatives.
Election officials have been visiting high school campuses to register those individuals who turn 18 years old prior to the November general election and this is “our major campaign” at the start of the election year, said Soliai.
Another part of the campaign is emphasizing to those voters— whose names were purged from the election rolls, because they didn’t vote in the last two elections — that they must re-register to participate in the next election.
Letters were sent out late last year to these individuals whose names had been removed—more than 1,000 of them— notifying them that they need to re-register, according to Soliai.
He said the election office is also encouraging at this time, individuals with expired voter ID cards to have them renewed. “This is the best time to register to vote or renew your voter ID, instead of waiting ‘til the last minute.”
STUDENTS AND MILITARY OFF ISLAND
Soliai also revealed that updated information and forms to assist students from American Samoa who are attending off-island education institutions, and military personnel and their dependents, are now available on the election office website: americansamoaelectionoffice.org
He said the form to request an absentee ballot is available on line to be downloaded and then e-mailed or faxed back to the election office. “Send in the request early so that we have your name verified,” said Soliai. “Then, once all candidates are confirmed later in the fall, the absentee ballot will be mailed out right away.”
Last day to request a mail-in absentee ballot is Oct. 22, according to the election office website.
And for American Samoa based students and military personnel who were purged from the voter roll for not voting in the last two elections, the form is also available on line to re-register.
“I encourage our students and military personnel to read the election information on the website,” said Soliai, who noted that information for people wanting to be candidates in this year’s general election is also available on the website, as well as at their office in Tafuna.
Deadline to file all required papers and fees for candidates is 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 1.