21 Nov 2011

Marshall Islands election in hands of offshore voters

8:13 am on 21 November 2011

Marshall Islanders go to the polls today, but it will take more than two weeks to get election results.

The votes cast in-country are hand counted, but electoral law allows postal absentee ballots to arrive up to December 5, meaning counting doesn't begin until then.

The Electoral Administration had mailed out more than 4,000 postal ballots to Marshall Islanders in the U.S. as of early last week, making this the first election that will likely be controlled by the off-shore vote.

In the 2007 election, only about 600 postal ballots were counted.

In the balance is current President Jurelang Zedkaia's slim one-vote margin in the 33-member parliament.