3 Nov 2004

American Samoa expecting high turnout for election

11:32 am on 3 November 2004

American Samoa's Chief Election Officer is expecting more than 80% voter turnout in today's general elections in the territory.

A total of 16,100 voters have registered, the largest number since American Samoa began electing its own governor and lt. Governor in 1977.

As well as a Governor and Lt. Governor to serve for the next four years, voters will choose a non voting delegate to the US Congress and 20 of the 21 members of the American Samoa House of Representatives.

The US delegate and members of the House serve two years.

In the Governor and Lt. Governor's race, the incumbents Governor Togiola Tulafono and Lt. Governor Ipulasi Aitofele Sunia face a strong challenge from Afoa Moega Lutu and Taeaoafua Dr. Meki Solomona.

The third team Senators Te'o Fuavai and Alo Dr. Paul Stevenson may force a runoff for the two main camps.

A team has to command 50% plus one of total votes cast in order to win the election.

In the congressional race, Aumua Amata Coleman, is making her fifth bid to unseat Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin who has held American Samoa's seat in Congress for 16 years.