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Local law says qualified electors are entitled to paid time off to go vote

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No more than two-consecutive hours allowed

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — With the Nov. 3rd general election less than two weeks away, Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga is reminding cabinet directors of local laws that allows a certain amount of time for qualified electors to leave their place of work to cast their ballots at designated polling stations. He also gave the same reminder to all employers in American Samoa.

In a memo issued Tuesday, the governor pointed to the local laws, which state that a qualified elector at the general election is entitled to be absent from his or her place of employment for two-consecutive hours — excluding any lunch or rest periods — for the purpose of casting their vote.

The governor explained that the qualified elector shall not, because of being absent from their place of employment, be liable to any penalty, nor shall any deduction be made on account of the absence from his or her usual salary or wages; provided that the foregoing shall not be applicable to any employee whose hours of employment are such that he has a period of two consecutive hours between the time of opening and closing of the polls when he or she is not working for his or her employer.

“Supervisory personnel are responsible to see that absences are staggered in a manner to ensure no interruption of government services,” the governor said.

The Election Office, which is releasing this week the locations of the polling stations, is expecting voting at the polls to be busy prior to working hours, during lunch time and after working hours.

The polls will be open from 6 a.m to 6 p.m on Tuesday, Nov. 3rd.

Electors on the voter roll for the 2020 general election are urged to vote on Election Day.