28 Aug 2007

Debate continues over American Samoan military voting rights

3:41 pm on 28 August 2007

American Samoa's Chief Election Officer Soliai Tuipine has called on the territorial legislature for a resolution to be sent to Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin asking for the withdrawal of his legislation to change election requirements for American Samoans in the military.

Faleomavaega's bill would allow American Samoans in the military to register with their command post in order to vote absentee for the gubernatorial and House races.

Military men and women can already register through their command post and vote absentee for the local Congressional race.

Soliai told senators that statistics revealed that while there are a lot of American Samoans in the military who are registered voters, not many of them voted absentee during the last two elections.

Faleomavaega had argued that there are many American Samoans in the military that want to vote in local elections but they are disenfranchised due to the local law, which requires the person to register in person at the Election Office in Pago Pago.