All eyes on RMI postal vote

National police officer Artor Hesa (left) and local police officer Atran Jejon initiated the vetting process for postal absentee ballots Tuesday December 1 at the ICC tabulation headquarters by cutting open the zip-tied postal ballot storage containers. Photo: Hilary Hosia
National police officer Artor Hesa (left) and local police officer Atran Jejon initiated the vetting process for postal absentee ballots Tuesday December 1 at the ICC tabulation headquarters by cutting open the zip-tied postal ballot storage containers. Photo: Hilary Hosia

Election officials worked from mid-morning Tuesday until 5:30am Wednesday December 2 to check and sort all incoming postal absentee ballots that arrived by Monday, the 14-day deadline day for postals. This overnight work pushed the tabulation for postal ballots to Wednesday evening, with Chief Electoral Officer Robson Almen announcing the start of postal tabulating from 5pm onward Wednesday.

A significant number of postal ballots were rejected by Almen for not following requirements, but no count of postal ballots accepted and rejected was immediately available. Among the reasons for rejection, according to Almen: some people submitting ballots were not on the list of people who Electoral had mailed ballots to, so presumably they copied ballots from other voters and mailed them in; ballots arrived in bulk numbers in one large envelope when they are supposed to be mailed individually; and some ballot envelopes had no postmark on the outside leading Electoral staff to believe that the ballots had been mailed to a local resident who walked them into the Majuro post office for delivery to Electoral. “We included instructions on the ballot envelope, but people probably didn’t look at the instructions,” Almen said.

Read more about this in the December 4, 2015 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.