Nitijela senators began endorsing a plan to repeal the postal absentee ballot ban Wednesday following the presentation of a petition to restore voting for islanders living off-shore by Evelyn Konou and Biram Stege.
Over 800 Marshallese citizens endorsed the petition, for which Parliament Speaker Kenneth Kedi and Maloelap Senator Bruce Bilimon publicly announced support.
Speaker Kedi mentioned that the House of Iroij attempted to restore postal balloting in the past but were ignored by the parliament majority.
The petition appears to be influencing introduction of legislation this week to restore postal ballot voting that, if it can gain a majority in Parliament, could revive the voting system for off-island voters.
Women power duo of Konou and Stege delivered a petition to Nitijela Monday calling on elected representatives to restore postal absentee voting.
“We are bringing the voice of the voiceless,” said Konou and Stege to Nitijela Clerk Morean Watak in presenting the petitions. “And those who can’t afford to speak, the least fortunate.”
Stege is principal of Assumption Schools, while Konou is retired after having been the Public School System’s first Commissioner of Education.
They recognize that it’s a race against time, the clock is ticking with the national election fewer than nine months away.
Watak put the petition onto the session calendar for the following day.
As the petition presentation was in progress Monday, in walked Senator Tony Aisiea from Namu. He wasted no time inking his name to the petition.
Read more about this in the March 1, 2019 edition of the Marshall Islands.