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Electoral Office crunches by-election vote numbers

More than three hundred voters who did not cast their votes during the recent Gagaifomauga No. 3's by-election could be placed under scrutiny from the Office of the Electoral Commissioner, and possibly fined.

Of that number, 132 of them were overseas, wth 68 noted as recently deceased.

The figures were confirmed by the Electoral Commissioner, Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio, in response to queries from the Samoa Observer. 

Some 932 people voted from the total roll of 1445 registered voters for the constituency.

But the Commissioner said they have not finalised the list. Former Speaker, La’auli Leuatea Schmidt won the by-election by 691 votes with his opponent securing 205 votes. 

“Once we fianlise the list of non-voters, then we’ll activate the provision of the Act that fines eligible voters who did not vote,” he said. 

From calculation of those who voted, traveled overseas and deceased, there are still 313 votes unaccounted for. 

In the recent Fa’asaleleaga No. 2 by-election, there were around 400 non-voters, said Faimalo. 

He said from the initial 1101 people that did not vote, some 500 were recorded deceased and those being overseas. 

“Given that these are key changes to our electoral process, we are adamant that these changes will sink into our people taking into account the long term vision that goes with the design of these changes,” he said.

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