9 Nov 2016

Early morning voting kicks off in American Samoa

8:31 am on 9 November 2016

Voting booths opened at 6am this morning in American Samoa where people will decide on the territory's governor and deputy, its delegate to Congress and 20 members of the House of Representatives.

The election office in American Samoa.

The election office in American Samoa. Photo: Monica Miller

However, the territory's 17,000 plus voters do not have the right to vote for the President.

The Chief Election Officer Uiagalelei Dr Lealofi Uiagalelei has urged people to get out and vote and expects an 80 percent voter turnout.

Under local law voters are entitled to be absent from their of employment for two consecutive hours for the purpose of casting their vote and are protected from having their wages deducted for that time.

The two hour absence excludes any lunch or rest periods.

Ballot boxes were transported under police escort from the Election Office to polling places on Tutuila and Aunuu early this morning.

The polls close at 6pm this evening with a ban on the sale of alcohol during voting hours.

Counting will take place at each polling place with the votes for governor counted first.

Election Commissioner Uiagalelei Dr. Lealofi Uiagalelei and Rev. Kirifi Muao at the Election Office at 530am.

Election Commissioner Uiagalelei Dr. Lealofi Uiagalelei and Rev. Kirifi Muao at the Election Office at 530am. Photo: Monica Miller

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs