24 Jul 2006

American Samoa's Congressman wants Fono to allow military personnel to vote in absence

12:40 pm on 24 July 2006

The American Samoan member of the US Congress, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, has written to Fono leaders calling on them to enact legislation allowing military personnel to register and vote in the governor and local House races without having to appear in person.

Under current laws passed by the U.S. Congress two years ago, military service members are able to register and vote absentee, or without having to appear in person for American Samoa's Congressional race.

However, because of the way local election law is written, these same military service members, many of whom are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, are required to appear in person in Pago Pago to register to vote by absentee ballot for the governor and local House races.

Faleomavaega says this makes no sense to him that American Samoa's active duty military members are being denied the right to vote.