Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he commends Governor Togiola for signing into law legislation that would allow military personnel to register absentee to vote in elections for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and local Representatives.
“For years, I have been saying we have got to do right by our sons and daughters who are serving in the U.S. Armed Forces,” Faleomavaega said, “and as a result of recent news that Governor Togiola has come on board and signed into law legislation that allows our military men and women to register absentee to vote in local races finally complements what we have already done on the federal level.”
“I especially thank our local legislature and our Chief Election Officer for working together to get this done. On October 20, 2004, President Bush signed into law H.R. 2010, giving American Samoa’s military men and women the right to fully participate in federal elections held in American Samoa, and Governor Togiola and many of our Fono members ended up supporting this historic legislation which I introduced in 2001 in response to a Congressional survey conducted by my office in which more than 85% of those surveyed in American Samoa agreed that our military men and women should be allowed to register as absentee voters, and participate in local, federal and run-off elections.”
“I sincerely appreciate that the people of American Samoa are united in support of our active duty men and women who put their lives on the line every day for us,” Faleomavaega said. “It is good news that they can now participate in American Samoa’s elections at the local and federal level. This legislation is long overdue but I commend ASG for doing the right thing.”
“While I introduced legislation on June 22, 2007 on behalf of our military men and women to allow them to register and vote absentee for the office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and our local Representatives, our local leaders decided that they would take up the issue and, on October 31, 2007, I submitted a draft amendment to our Chief Election Officer, High Chief Soliai.”
“I thank High Chief Soliai, Senate President Lolo Moliga and Senators, Speaker Savali T. Ale and Representatives, former Representative Ae Ae, and Governor Togiola for supporting our efforts and bringing our local laws in line with federal law so that our men and women in the military are afforded maximum voting participation. I also thank CSM Iuni Savusa, CSM Tui Nua, CSM Ioakimo Falaniko, and Major Tauapa’i Laupola who have been our strongest advocates. Above all, I thank our military men and women and their families for the sacrifices they make to keep America safe and strong. While our military men and women are away serving us, I join with you in praying for their health and happiness and safe return,” Faleomavaega concluded.