19 Nov 2008

American Samoan absentee ballots to be counted today

1:43 pm on 19 November 2008

Just 26 off-island absentee ballots will be counted in today's special run off election in American Samoa for governor and lieutenant governor.

This compares to the 269 such votes counted in the November 4th general election.

The Election Office says 270 absentee ballots were mailed out last Thursday but only 26 votes arrived in Pago Pago yesterday in time to be counted in today's election.

The 26 ballots are from American Samoan military personnel and students living in Hawai'i who are allowed to vote in local elections because American Samoa is their home of record.

Last week, American Samoa's US Congressman, Faleamavaega Eni Hunkin, called for a change to the electoral process because people are denied their democratic rights when a run off election is held two weeks after the first poll.