Fa’asaleleaga No 2 by-election pre-polling begins
For the first time in Samoa’s electoral process, voters with disabilities and senior citizens will be able to cast their votes early prior to the actual date of an election or by-election.
This is made possible through a pre-polling service with the constituency of Fa’asaleleaga No 2 becoming the first to use the service yesterday for its by-election.
Pre-polling was established for the first time – through the by-election process to ensure everyone will participate in election regardless of their personal commitments – and for senior citizens that have difficulties in attending poll day and those with disabilities.
In response to an email from the Samoa Observer, Electoral Commissioner, Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio said those entitled to cast their votes through pre-polling include voters who are 65 years old and above, voters with disabilities and those migrating overseas on election week.
“In public interest, it’s important to note the process that governs the pre-polling process,” he said.
“Voters in the categories above must apply to the Commissioner prior to the pre-polling period, which starts from Monday of the election week right up to 4pm Thursday of polling eve. If they don’t apply, then they are not eligible to pre poll.”
Voters who are eligible to pre-poll are able to cast their votes at the Development Bank of Samoa Level 3 conference room from Monday to Thursday this week. Those in Savai’i who are eligible for pre-polling will be able to cast their vote at the temporary office of the Electoral Commissioner at Blue Bird Building Salelologa on the same dates.
According to Faimalomatumua there are around 400 voters who have attained the age of 65 and above.
“As of Friday, the last day of pre-polling applications, 94 have applied. Including in that 94 are people with disabilities and those who are travelling overseas this week.”
The Commissioner also confirmed the final roll for Fa’saleleaga No 2 by-election stands at 3487. Polling day for the constituency is on Friday March 22.
Four candidates have put up their hand to run for the by-election. One of them carrying the Samoa’s First Political Party flag is Lema’i Faioso Sione. Another candidate is the son of former Member of Parliament, the late Pau Sefo Pau is Maileimalo Eneliko Pau, who is an independent member. The ruling Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) have two representatives, Namulauulu Papalii Leota Sami Leota and Papali’i Lio Oloipola Taeu Masipau.