4 Nov 2008

US-affiliated Pacific Islands go to the polls

7:30 pm on 4 November 2008

A number of Pacific Island nations are going to the polls, concurrent to the United States presidential election being held Tuesday US time.

Elections are being held in American Samoa, the Northern Marianas, Palau and Guam.

Voters in Guam will cast their vote for their non-voting delegate to the US Congress and members of the House of Representatives.

In Palau, an elections officer, Festus Ringang, says more than 14 000 people have been registered to vote in the election.

"As of now, the election is going, everything is going smooth right now. The election is for the president, senator and house of delegates."

Meanwhile, in the Northern Marianas, nine candidates are standing in the election to vote for the first non-voting delegate to the US congress.

Our correspondent in the CNMI, Mark Rabago, says 13 000 registers voters will be able to vote for nine candidates for the congress, ranging from a high school teacher to a TV personality.

The CNMI is electing its first non-voting delegate to the US congress. It's truly a historic vote for the CNMI because for the first time, we'll have somebody represent us in the US house of congress in the US. And coincidentally, it happens 22 years after citizens here were given US citizenship.

Mark Rabago says the election is running smoothly and results are expected Wednesday local time.

In American Samoa, 17 000 voters will go to the polls to vote for the governor and his Lieutenant, the non-voting delegate to the US Congress and members of the House of Representatives.