Mobile team ready to collect hospital votes

A mobile team of Electoral Officers will be handling the votes of registered voters admitted in all the national and district hospitals as well as hospital staff who will be on duty on Friday. 

Commissioner Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio didn't respond to questions sent to him by the Samoa Observer as of press time, but a call to the toll-free number of the O.E.C. confirmed the mobile service will be available on election day, “to all hospitals including district [hospitals].” 

According to an OEC official, who didn't want to be identified, each hospital will have their own mobile teams responsible for collecting votes from registered eligible voters within the hospital.

Only eligible voters who are admitted at the hospital as well as hospital staff are eligible to use the service.

The Samoa Observer was told that the mobile service will not necessarily have scrutineers.

“It will be general, because there are many different people in the hospital meaning if scrutineers are needed, each constituency will have to bring one scrutineer [to be present]," said the O.E.C. official.

“Unless there is someone [eligible to vote] from your village who is admitted in the hospital then your scrutineers can be brought in, but the mobile station will be seeing many patients from various electoral constituencies.

“If a candidate knows that they have a voter admitted in a hospital, their scrutineers are free to come.”

The official said the mobile stations at the hospitals will sight the admitted patients' lists to determine who is eligible to vote or not, plus the hospital staff who are working on the day. 

The service is not pre-applied, the official added. 

“Those admitted patients and the working staff including the nurses will all be able to use these voting mobile services, but not those who randomly show up at the hospital site; only those who are admitted,” said the official.

Thursday concluded the nation’s first ever attempt at pre-polling for a general election which started on Monday, four days ahead of the general election proper on Friday. 

A total of 188 candidates are contesting the General Election across 48 constituencies of Samoa.

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