16 Aug 2004

American Samoa's soldiers being deployed in Iraq will vote using absentee ballots

7:01 am on 16 August 2004

A lack of printed ballots is forcing American Samoan soldiers shortly heading for Iraq to vote using absentee ballots for the general election.

The deputy chief election officer, Filiva'a Mageo, says ballots won't be printed for the election in November, until registration of candidates closes on September 1st.

It's thought that'll be too late for the 200 soldiers who shortly head for training in Hawaii for eventual deployment to Iraq.

Mageo says soldiers have been briefed on how to get an absentee ballot whilst on active duty.

Soldiers will have to contact their respective military Voting Assistant Officer to obtain the necessary forms that will be sent back to Pago Pago to secure a ballot.

The November election will select a congressman, governor and territorial officials.

American Samoans aren't able to vote in the US presidential poll.