COVID-19 Absentee Ballot / Candidates

MEMO FROM THE ELECTION COMMISSIONER TO INCLUDE ABSENTEE VOTERS/CANDIDATES IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Our Election Office is fully aware that the ongoing COVID-19 worldwide pandemic may change the way our people vote, and for those who are running for public offices. And with our border being closed by an official proclamation by Governor Lolo M. Moliga, thus holding back our returning resident voters for another 30 days until August or thereafter; causing these voters their lawful rights to participate in their rightful election of their future leaders.

As a result, through legal guidance and common sense approach, I as Election Commissioner of the Territorial Election Office of American Samoa therefore agree and allow the inclusion of our stranded voters to be included in the absentee voting, Title 6, Chapter 11 Section 6.1101 of the American Samoa Code Annotated.

Absentee ballot voting criteria includes:

  1. Active service members in the U.S Military forces
  2. A registered scholarship student at an institution of higher learning
  3. Employment in the service of American Samoa Government
  4. Employment in the service of the U.S Government
  5. A qualified overseas voter in the election for Delegate for the U.S House of Representative only
  6. Active registered voters stranded off-island due to the COVID-19

For candidates stranded off-island who wishes to run for public offices, the following criteria’s must be observed and adhere to:

  • Designate someone (committee person) to pick up and process the nomination papers, required signatures by law. All forms will be thoroughly scrutinized and review for accuracy.
  • Deadline for turning-in is 4:30 PM September 1, 2020
  • Official release of candidates to appear 3 days later