7 Mar 2005

Federated States of Micronesia scrambles to fly out ballot boxes ahead of poll

8:38 am on 7 March 2005

Election officials in the Federated States of Micronesia are scrambling to get ballot boxes to all polling stations ahead of tomorrow's congressional election.

The president of Micronesia will be weakened if voters choose to fill congress with his opponents, in this poll which takes place every two years.

There are more than 80-thousand people eligible to vote for the 27 candidates in three states.

The deputy director of the election office, John Atahan, is determined to open the polls at the same time across the archipelago.

"For Micronesia we're having difficulties because all these small islands are scattered in the ocean so we have to find transportation just to accommodate the whole region, to have the election in one day, chartering ships, planes, for delivering our supplies."

Mr Atahan says officials will count votes on the spot as soon as polls close and radio the results to the commissioner's office in the capital, Pohnpei.