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Election pre-polling underway in Samoa
03:34 am GMT+12, 05/04/2021, Samoa

Pre-polling for voters under special categories in Samoa's 2021 General Election got underway at 9am on Monday on both Upolu and Savai'i islands.
 
Members of the public who applied for pre-polling – and have been identified by the Office of the Electoral Commission as belonging to the essential services workforce, are persons with disabilities, will travel before the  09 April polling or are aged 65 years and above – made their way to cast their votes at their allocated venues on Monday.
 
The Samoa Observer visited a few of the pre-polling sites on Upolu Island with some showing more than 20 people awaiting their turn to vote as one person went in.
 
For the Moataa EFKS Church, elderly people, those who will be working on the day of the voting as well as people with disabilities were sitting outside to await their turn to go inside to cast their votes.
 
The Vaiusu Methodist Church also had people sitting outside while the elderly who were accompanied by their caretakers went in and voted.
 
The eligible voters who had lined up to cast their vote at the venues that the Samoa Observer visited appeared to be in good spirits and awaited their turn.
 
OEC officials and others who volunteered to assist with the election were at the pre-polling venue with police officers also present during the voting.
 
More than 20 people cast their votes at both the Vaiusu and Moataa pre-polling venues.
 
The voters who were at the Moataa pre-polling venue wished their candidates the best of luck and said they hoped that whoever won the election would be able to assist and meet the needs of their constituencies.  
 
According to the voters, who sat in the line and awaited their turn, they ultimately believe God would choose the right people to lead a country that is founded on God.
 
A lot of the voters, who decided to cast their votes on Monday, said Monday being a public holiday (as part of the Easter long weekend) was not busy for them and it was the perfect time to utilise pre-polling arrangement offered by the commission.
 
A total of 128,848 people have registered for the 2021 General Election with 8,000 expected to use the pre-polling arrangement that the OEC is offering local voters for the first time.
 
Pre-polling stations will open from 9am to 4pm from Monday to Thursday this week before the general election this Friday 09 April.

SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS


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