Chapter 06 - Ballots

Chapter 06 - Ballots

6.0601 Official and specimen ballots.

Ballots issued by the Chief Election Officer as to Territorial elections are official ballots. The Chief Election Officer, where paper or other type of ballots are used, shall have printed sufficient copies of each of the official ballots to be used in the various districts so that at least 1 copy can be posted for each voting district. These copies will have printed across their face in large bold letters, and with ink of a color contrasting to the color of the paper used, the word “Specimen”. The copies of the specimen ballots shall be forwarded to the district officials with the official ballots. The district officials shall post the specimen ballots near the entrance to the voting place where they may be easily seen by the qualified electors prior to voting.

6.0602 Contents of ballot.

(a) A ballot shall contain the names of the candidates, the offices for which they are running, and the district in which the election is being held. The name of the candidate may be printed with the Samoan or English equivalent or nickname, if the candidate so requests in writing at the time his nomination papers are filed. Candidates’ names, including the Samoan or English equivalent or nickname, shall be set on one line in as large type as the length of the majority of the names will permit. All candidates’ names must be in the same height of type face and style.

(b) In multirace districts, the ballot shall state that the qualified elector shall not vote for more than the number of seats available or the number of candidates listed where such number is less than the seats available.

(c) A ballot shall bear no word, motto, device, sign, or symbol other than allowed in this title.

6.0603 Form of ballot.

The form of the ballot shall be determined by the Chief Election Officer. The names of the candidates shall be placed upon the ballot for their respective offices in alphabetical order. In the case of paper ballots or cards where the names of the candidates are printed and the qualified elector records his vote on the face of the ballot, the following format shall be used: A horizontal line shall be ruled between each candidate’s name and the next name. Immediately after all the names, on the right-hand side of the ballot, 2 vertical lines shall be ruled, so that in conjunction with the horizontal lines, a box shall be formed opposite each name and its equivalent, if any. The boxes shall be of sufficient size to give ample room in which to designate the choice of the qualified elector in the manner prescribed for the voting system in use. All of the names upon a ballot shall be placed at a uniform distance from the left-hand edge and close thereto, and shall be of uniform size and print subject to section 6.0602.

6.0604 Checking ballot form by candidates and parties.

Facsimiles of all ballot layouts prior to printing shall be available for viewing by the candidates at the office of the Chief Election Officer as soon after the close of filing as they are available. The layout facsimiles shall show the type faces used, the spelling and placement of names, and other information on the ballot.

6.0605 Withdrawal of candidates-Disqualification-Death-Notice.

(a) Any candidate may withdraw not later than 4:30 p.m. on the 3rd day after the close of filing for any reason and may withdraw after the close of filing up to 4:30 p.m. on the 10th day prior to an election for reasons of ill health when the notice is accompanied by a statement from a licensed physician indicating that the ill health may endanger the candidate’s life, by giving notice in writing to the Chief Election Officer. Once the notice is received by the Chief Election Officer, the candidate shall not rescind or attempt to rescind the notice of withdrawal.

(b) When a candidate dies, withdraws, or is disqualified after the close of filing and the ballots have been printed, the Chief Election Officer shall either order the candidate’s name stricken from the ballot or that a notice of the disqualification, withdrawal, or death be prominently posted at the polling place on election day.

(c) In no case shall the filing fee be refunded after filing.

6.0606 Vacancies-New candidates-Insertion of names on ballots and notice at polling places.

In case of death, withdrawal, or disqualification of any candidate after filing, the vacancy so caused may be filled by the Chief Election Officer in the same manner as regular filing not later than the 5th day prior to a general or special election. The name of the replacement shall be printed in an available and appropriate place on the ballot, not necessarily in alphabetical order. A vacancy occurs only when there is less than 1 candidate on the ballot to fill the office. If the substitute candidate is submitted later than the time limits set forth above, it will be in the discretion of the Chief Election Officer whether the name of any substitute candidate is placed on the ballot by reprinting, over printing, the use of rubber stamps, or other means as the Chief Election Officer may consider satisfactory. The district officials shall post a notice at the polling place of the name of the substitute candidate and the office sought. Substitution shall be made not later than 4:30 p.m. on the 2nd day prior to any election unless the Chief Election Officer determines that the name can be placed on the ballot in some practical and effective manner. If no substitution is made, the candidacy involved shall be declared vacant.

6.0607 Printing-Quantity.

(a) The ballots shall be printed by order of the Chief Election Officer.

(b) Each district shall receive a sufficient number of ballots based on the number of registered qualified electors and the expected spoilage in the election concerned.

6.0608 Distribution of ballots-Record.

(a) The Chief Election Officer shall forward the official ballots, specimen ballots, and other materials to the election officials of the various districts. They shall be delivered and kept in a secure fashion in accordance with rules adopted by the Chief Election Officer. In no case shall they arrive later than the opening of the polls on election day.

(b) A record of the number of ballots sent to each district shall be kept by the Chief Election Officer.

6.0609 Distribution of sample ballots.

At least 10 days before the election, the Chief Election Officer may cause sample ballots to be distributed among the qualified electors, so that the electorate will be informed of the names of the candidates, or the issues, or both.