6 Nov 2012

Voting underway in West Pacific US territories

1:35 pm on 6 November 2012

The United States territories of Guam and the Northern Marianas are today voting to elect their non-voting representatives to the US congress.

Polls opened in both territories at 7am local time.

American Samoa will go to the polls tomorrow.

Jamie Tahana reports.

"Voters are choosing candidates for seats in each territory's house of representatives, senate, and board of education, as well as for positions on local councils. In the Northern Marianas, the independent candidate Gregorio Kilili Sablan is seeking re-election in a race against the Republican Party's Ignacia Demapan. The election commission in Saipan is reporting a high turnout in voters, with the number of people voting being almost double that of last election. In Guam, a voter turnout of about 69 per cent is expected, with the Democrats holding a slim majority over the Republicans in a race to control the Guam legislature. Vote counting will be slowed because one of the counting machines at the Guam election commission has broken down. The results for both territories are expected tomorrow."