Although postal absentee ballots will not be counted until Monday September 6, Namu mayoral candidate Bowditch Jiji Mimi Kabua’s lead over incumbent Acting Mayors Waikiki Lakmis virtually ensures that he will be Namu’s new mayor.
The still unofficial vote count for all domestic ballots shows Kabua with 505 votes to Lakmis’ 372. According to Acting Chief Electoral Officer Daniel Andrew, only 95 postal ballots were requested by off-island Marshallese before the deadline. Of these, 15 were rejected and 80 ballots were mailed off to voters. These ballots are for different islands, including Namu, Namdrik, Jaluit, Ebon, Aur, and Arno, so will not change Kabua’s leading vote status.
But the Aur Mayor’s race remains too close to call until the 30 or so possible ballots for Aur are vetted and then tabulated. The unofficial vote count for all domestic votes for the Aur mayor race shows Fred Bukida with only a four-vote lead over Hesa Kaious, 343-339.
To be valid, postal ballot envelopes must be postmarked August 20 (US date, which is the August 21 RMI election date) to be eligible for counting. September 4 is the final day for ballots to arrive through the post office.
Andrew said the elections team will examine all ballots Sunday September 5 and then proceed to count them the following day.