Technical glitch strikes polling booth

By Tina Mata'afa-Tufele 11 April 2021, 2:00PM

Some voters at a Vaimauga No. 4 polling station experienced a delay in voting on Friday due a technical glitch which was later fixed and enabled them to cast their votes.

The glitch occurred at around 10 am at the E.F.K.S. Alamagoto Parish Hall with several voters telling the Samoa Observer that they were told to wait for a while as something was wrong with the system, according to 30-year-old Manuia Boznanski.

“I don’t know what happened in there but we were told that something happened to the system and we had to wait,” said Mr Boznanski.

“But [later] everything went well and I went in and I voted. I got here around 10 and now I am done voting. I feel seki (good), I am done voting and I am now going to go home.”

Other voters said electoral officials asked them to wait for about five minutes because there was something wrong with the system.

“They told us to wait for five minutes but it has been more than five minutes,” one woman who didn’t want to be identified said. 

Another voter, 49-year-old John James Joseph of Vaimauga No. 4, went to the same polling station with his wife, grandmother, several relatives and son in the afternoon on Friday.

“It took me more than half an hour to get in there…back then it took about 15 minutes but right now it’s about 45 minutes in the queue,” said Mr. Joseph.

“I guess it depends on those who came here to vote. They [the poll workers] have to find their names on the list so it takes time for those guys to look for their names. 

“There were about three or four people like that.”

He said he was happy to exercise his right to vote and hoped for leaders who follow the rules.

“I want to see leaders who stand by the rules – Faavae le Atua Samoa, Samoa is Founded on God. 

“It keeps changing, times change but we have to stick to that.”

For 74-year-old George Schuster, he went to the polling station at around 9am on Friday and the younger voters, who were already standing in the queue, stood back to enable him to get to the front. 

He was thankful and pleased to have gotten in and out so quickly after casting his ballot.

Voters at the Catholic Church Hall in Sinamoga while others at the Vaimauga No. 4 polling station reported waiting for 15 to 30 minutes.

When polling opened on Friday morning 194 valid votes had already been cast for the Vaimauga No. 4 seat after four days of pre-polling. 

The preliminary results for the seat released by the Office of Electoral Commission on Friday showed Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) party candidate Faualo Harry Jeffrey Schuster in the lead with 1016 votes followed the Human Rights Protection Party’s Faaolesa Katopau T. Ainuu on 670.

By Tina Mata'afa-Tufele 11 April 2021, 2:00PM

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