5 Nov 2008

Low turnout plagues delegate polls in CNMI

11:15 am on 5 November 2008

Reports from the Northern Marianas say voter turnout at over polling stations throughout Saipan yesterday was extremely low.

Local voters for the first time got the opportunity to elect a non-voting congressional delegate.

Approximately 13,000 voters registered to participate in this historic election, which drew nine candidates.

Of the voters, about 12,000 were expected at the polls yesterday, and the rest were to vote absentee.

But as of 3:30pm, barely 6,000 voters had cast their ballots, according to Frances Sablan, chairwoman of the Commonweal th Election Commission.

There was no immediate word on the turnout rate for Tinian and Rota.

Final results are expected sometime today.