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American Samoa Voting Quick Facts

Who Can Register to vote in American Samoa

A person who registers as required by law shall be entitled to vote at any election, and to be listed upon the appropriate general Register.

AGE REQUIREMENT

Every person who has reached the age of 18 years, or who will have reached the age of 18 years prior to the date of the next election, and is otherwise qualified to register, may register in the district in which he/she resides.

DETERMINATION OF RESIDENCY

No person may register or vote in any district other than that in which he/she resides, except where it is found that he/she has been inadvertently registered in the wrong district. In determining residency in the Territory, spouses may treat themselves separately from one another.

To register to vote in American Samoa, an individual must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be a United States Citizen or a U.S. National
  • Reside in American Samoa
  • Be at least 18 years of age on or before election day

A qualified elector having once been registered shall not be required to register again for any succeeding election, except otherwise provided by law.

Learn more about Who Can Register To Vote in American Samoa?

How Do I Register To Vote in American Samoa

Voting At The Polls On Election Day

WHAT IS AN ACCEPTABLE FORM OF IDENTIFICATION FOR VOTING

Who Can Vote Absentee in American Samoa

WHO CAN VOTE ABSENTEE

  • A. Any qualified elector who will be unable to appear at his/her polling place during the hours of voting at any election because of absence from the Territory, or district in which he/she is registered, may cause his/her vote to be cast by absentee ballot.
  • B. Any qualified elector shall be entitled and enabled to vote in a manner as may be prescribed by rules adopted by the Chief Election Officer; provided, that any qualified elector who by reason of physical disability is unable to mark his/her ballot shall be authorized to receive assistance in marking the ballot.
  • C. Any qualified elector competent to vote at any election shall be allowed to vote by absentee ballot if he/she falls within the following categories:

1. Absent from the Territory on Election Day because he/she is:

  • a. Employed in the service of the U.S. Government;
  • b. Employed in the service of the American Samoa Government;
  • c. A student at an institution of learning;
  • d. An absent uniformed services voter; or
  • e. An overseas voter voting in the election for Delegate for the U.S. House of Representatives.

2. Temporarily absent from the Territory on election day because of:

  • a. Travel for medical treatment;
  • b. Travel for military-related assignments;
  • c. Travel for employment-related training, conference or assignments; or
  • d. Vacation

3. Present in the Territory but absent from the district on Election Day because of:

  • ii. travel for military-related assignments
  • iii. travel for employment-related training, conference or assignments
  • iv. vacation
  • i. confinement in any hospital
  • ii. confinement in any public institution
  • iii. confinement at home because of illness or physical disability which will prevent him/her from attending the polls
  • iv. any religious belief, ruling, doctrine, or standard which will prevent him/her from attending the polls
  • v. employment as an election official on election day

4. Present in the Territory but absent from the district on election day because of:

REQUEST FOR ABSENTEE BALLOT

  • Any person entitled to vote under (C)(1) may request an absentee ballot in person or in writing from the Chief Election Officer not earlier than on January 1st of the year of the election for which the absentee ballot is requested. Such absentee voters may electronically transmit his/her request for an absentee ballot application and may request that the election office electronically transmit and accept his/her absentee ballot application. See Appendix A for recent changes to the law on request for absentee ballots by voters that fall in the (C)(1) category.
  • Any person entitled to vote under (C)(2) may request an absentee ballot in person or in writing from the Chief Election Officer not earlier than the day that ballots are printed and available and not later than 4:30 p.m. on the day prior to the election.
  • NOTE: Those persons who are entitled to vote under (C) (2) must provide proof of travel, and must vote at the Election Office before he/she travels. Ballots will NOT be mailed to the traveler. Furthermore, travelers who will return before election day will NOT be allowed to vote absentee.
  • Any person entitled to vote under (C)(3) may request an absentee ballot in person or in writing from the Chief Election Officer not earlier than on the 30th day before and not later than 4:30 p.m. on the day prior to the election.
  • The request shall include any information that will facilitate the location of the voter’s voting district, and the establishment of his/her right to a ballot. [For those persons entitled to vote under (C) (1), the request shall include the address where he/she wants his/her ballot forwarded.
  • Certification of absentee ballots shall be closed not later than 1:30 p.m. on election day.

DELIVERY OF BALLOTS

  • Immediately upon receipt of a request within the time frame stated above, the Chief Election Officer shall examine the records to ascertain whether or not the qualified elector is lawfully entitled to vote as requested. As soon as the official ballots are printed and available, the Chief Election Officer shall mail in a forwarding envelope via airmail to off-island absentee voters, or if requested by electronic means to absent uniformed service members and overseas voters, or delivered in person to the qualified elector who appears at the Election Office, an official ballot and other materials prescribed by law.
  • All requests for absentee ballots received from off-island qualified electors postmarked or received by the 15th day prior to the election will be processed and ballots will be sent to the qualified electors requesting them as soon as reasonably practicable, but in no event later than 24 hours after receipt of the request.

RETURN OF BALLOT

  • Absentee ballots that are returned via airmail, or delivered other than by mail, must be received by the Chief Election Officer not later than 1:30 p.m. on Election Day.

Learn more about Absentee Voting

What If My Address Has Changed

DETERMINATION OF RESIDENCY

No person may register or vote in any district other than that in which he/she resides, except where it is found that he/she has been inadvertently registered in the wrong district. In determining residency in the Territory, spouses may treat themselves separately from one another. The following rules shall determine residency for territory and district purposes.

  • A. The residency of a person is that place in which his/her habitation is fixed, and to which, whenever he/she is absent, he/she has the intention to return.
  • B. A person does not gain residency in any district into which he/she comes without the present intention of establishing his/her permanent dwelling place within that district.
  • C. If a person resides with his/her family in one place, and does business in another, the former is his/her place of residence; but any person having a family, who establishes his/her dwelling place other than with his/her family, with the intention of remaining there, shall be considered a resident where he/she has established his/her dwelling place.
  • D. The mere intention to acquire a new residence without physical presence at that place does not establish residency; neither does mere physical presence without the concurrent present intention to establish that place as his/her residence.
  • E. A person does not gain or lose residency solely by reason of his/her presence or absence while employed in the service of the United States or of this territory, or while a student of an institution of learning, or while kept in an institution or asylum, or while confined in prison.
  • F. The status of a person’s primary matai obligations are a factor in determining district residency. However, matai obligations alone may not sustain a finding of district residency absent other evidence which, in connection with evidence of matai obligations, is sufficient to sustain this intent.
  • G. A person loses his/her residency in this Territory if he/she votes in an election held elsewhere by absentee ballot or in person.
  • H. The term of residence is computed by including the day on which the person’s residence commences and by excluding the day of election.
  • I. Final determination of a question regarding residency shall be made by the Chief Election Officer, subject to appeal to the Board of Registration.

Learn more about Movers/college students Voting

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When Is The Next Election?

Upcoming Elections Calendar - Election dates and deadlines - Check American Samoa upcoming elections schedule

Can I Register At The Polls On Election Day?

NO: American Samoa does not provide Same Day Voter Registration. You must register to vote by the voter registration deadline in order to vote in an election. If you miss the voter registration deadline for an election you should contact your local election office.

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