Marshalls turnout below 50 percent

2:49 pm on 10 December 2015

Data released in the Marshall Islands show fewer than half of the registered voters turned out to vote in last month's election while the impact of the substantial off-shore population was minimal

According to the Electoral Administration, 20,400 voters, or 46 percent, cast their votes.

A number of candidates and election observers report that they saw names on the master voting list of Marshallese who are deceased, meaning the number of registered voters may be inflated.

Postal absentee ballots affected only the parliamentary race on Ujae.

Fewer than half of the 4,600 postal absentee ballots that the Electoral Administration said were mailed out to voters living outside the country arrived in time to be counted.

Marshall Islands Chief Electoral Officer Robson Almen (holding paper) talks to tabulators during the late November ballot counting in Majuro

Marshall Islands Chief Electoral Officer Robson Almen (holding paper) talks to tabulators during the late November ballot counting in Majuro Photo: Hilary Hosia

At Ujae, Micronesian Games gold medal winning wrestler Waylon Muller held a four-vote lead over a former Attorney General Atbi Riklon based on the domestic vote.

But Mr Riklon grabbed 40 of the 42 Ujae postal votes to win.

The postals did affect some mayor races, including the Bikini local government race.

While 4,671 postal ballots were mailed out to offshore Marshallese voters, only 2,006 made it back by the November 30 deadline, and about six percent of these - were rejected.

Ultimately 1,880 postal votes were tabulated, according to the Electoral Administration.