Election results are official after no challenges were filed
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Chief Election Officer, Dr. Lealofi Uiagalelei has declared official, the results of the Nov. 6th midterm elections, after the deadline to file a challenge expired (4:30p.m., Nov. 13th).
The Election Office has confirmed that no challenge was filed over the election results.
Voters in American Samoa had cast ballots for the Congressional and local House of Representatives races as well as the veto-override referendum.
In the Congressional race, incumbent Congresswoman Aumua Amata is the official winner, receiving 7,194 votes (83.3%) of the total 8,638 ballots counted.
But the official results show a slight change in the final tally for challengers Meleagi Suitonu-Chapman and Tuika Tuika.
For the unofficial results — released election night — Suitonu-Chapman received 659 votes (7.6%) and Tuika got 785 votes (9.1%).
However, under the official results, Suitonu-Chapman’s vote tally stands at 637 (7.4%) of the ballots counted while Tuika received 807 votes (9.3%).
For the veto override referendum, there are no changes from Election night, with official results showing that the referendum was defeated with 5,957 voters (69.9%) opposing the veto override and 2,605 supporting it (30.4%)
LOCAL HOUSE RACE
The official winners, according to the Election Office official tally, are the same as reported by Samoa News in its Nov. 7th edition. However, there is a typo in the spreadsheet published Nov. 7th for District 8 Maoputasi #2.
Incumbent Vailiuama Steve Leasiolagi was re-elected with 135 votes, and not 175 votes as noted in the Nov. 7th spreadsheet.
The next major issue for the incumbents and faipule-elect is the election of the Speaker of the House, the post currently held by Savali Talavou Ale, who was re-elected for another term in office and currently the longest serving faipule.
Election of the House Speaker will be conducted after House members for the 36th Legislature are sworn in at 12noon on Jan. 3, 2019.
In past years, campaigning for the Speaker position begins after elections, with meetings of groups supporting a candidate continuing through Jan. 3rd to ensure their candidate gets the majority vote to win.
Only the 20-elected House members get to vote for the Speaker. Afterwards, votes are taken for two other House positions: Chief House Clerk and House Sergeant at Arms.
Another important issue for the House members, which comes after the 36th Legislature official opens on Jan. 14, 2019, are committee assignments.
Of note, Samoa News is awaiting from the Election Office official statistics on this year’s election voter turn.