LOW VOTER TURNOUT IN CNMI’S CHUUK COMMUNITY

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61 percent of absentee voters cast ballots in FSM elections

By Junhan B. Todeno SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, March 10, 2011) - Only 61 percent of the total registered absentee voters on Saipan cast their ballots on Tuesday for the Chuuk legislative election.

Of the state’s 315 total registered absentee voters on Saipan, only 193 voted.

Poll worker Own Cholymay said the low turnout of votes could be attributed to the lack of an information drive.

There were also void ballots, he added.

The absentee voting was conducted at the Garapan Central Park under the supervision of Chuuk election officer Koichiro Koichy.

"The conduct of the election was very smooth except for a minor problem," he said, referring to the master list of registered voters for one of the election districts that was not in the ballot box.

Cholymay said they had to communicate with the election commission in Chuuk so it could fax the master list.

The tabulation of ballots was conducted at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

Yesterday morning the ballot box was shipped to Chuuk.

Personnel of the Commonwealth Port Authority and the Department of Public Safety assisted in ensuring the safety of the ballot box, Cholymay said.

Chuuk is one of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia. The other three are Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap.

Based on the FSM Office of the National Election there are three candidates vying for the state’s four-year term seat in the FSM Congress. They are Anna Asauo Wengu, Emanuel "Manny" Mori and Setiro Paul.

Mori is the current FSM president, who is elected by the federation’s Congress.

There are 18 candidates for the state’s five two-year term seats in the FSM Congress

For election district one, Mortlocks, the candidates are Florencio "Singoro" Harper, John E. Sound, and Peter S. Sitan.

Keiuo S. William and Roger S. Mori are running in election district two, Weno.

There are five candidates for election district three, which consists of Tonoas, Uman, Fefan, Parem and Tsis. They are Augustina "Akostina" S. Takashy, Bonsiano Fasy Nethon, Charles "Bina" Rianong, Gillian N. Doone and Joe N. Suka.

Election district four -- Tol, Fanapanges, Eot, Patta, Polle, Romanum, Udot, and Wonei -- has three candidates: Arno H. Kony, Pandinos N. Suzuki and Tiwiter Aritos.

Asterio R. Takesy, Tony H. Otto and Winiplat A. Bisaalen are the candidates in election district five or the northwest region comprising Pattiw, Pafeng and Namonweito.

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