Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 07 Dec 2019 12am

Headlines:

     

     

     

     

     

    Saturday, December 7, 2019-12:43:58A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Font Size

Settings

Regional News

Marshall Islanders go to the polls

MAJURO — Hundreds of Marshall Islanders arrived early to cast their votes in Monday’s national election in the Marshall Islands.

Click to enlarge
Election official Lisa Lajkam verifies Uliga ward voters in the first minutes after the voting station at the Youth to Youth in Health community center opened Monday morning in Majuro.  Photo by Hilary Hosia
Dozens of voters for Namu Atoll lined up to cast their absentee votes at a school polling station in Majuro Monday morning as the national election got underway.  Photo by Giff Johnson

Polling stations opened up in Majuro at 7 a.m. Monday for the national election, and several of the voting locations quickly saw large numbers of voters turning out. By 7:30 a.m., several sites had lines of 20 or more voters waiting patiently to cast their votes.

Most polling stations are located at local public schools. Polling stations will remain open until 7 p.m., after which manual tabulation of ballots will start at the government’s International Conference Center.

Preliminary initial results for Majuro and other races are not expected until Tuesday at the earliest, with tabulation anticipated to continue throughout the week until completed. Ballots will also be tabulated by local election committees on Kwajalein Atoll and the 22 other remote outer islands where voters are casting their votes today.

A team from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is on island to observe the Marshall Islands election process.

This is the first year in the country’s 40 years of independence that there are no votes being sent in from the many thousands of islanders living in the United States because of a controversial law that eliminated postal absentee voting. It was overturned by the country’s Supreme Court last month but not in time to be put in place for today’s vote.

Over 40,000 people are registered to vote in the Marshall Islands.