| FSMC, TITLE 9. NATIONAL ELECTIONS
Chapter 8: Procedure for
Conduct of Elections
§ 801. Supervision of polling places.
§ 802. Equipping and supplying polling places.
§ 803. Opening and closing of polls.
§ 804. Checking of register.
§ 805. Campaigning and alcoholic beverages at polling places.
§ 806. Poll watchers.
§ 807. Election irregularities.
§ 808. Disposition of ballot boxes after completion of voting.
§ 809. Counting of ballots, announcement of unofficial results.
§ 810. Certification of election results.
§ 811. Resolution of ties.
§ 812. Local counting and tabulating committee.
§ 813. Rejected ballots.
§ 814. Imperfectly marked ballots.
§ 815. Spoiled ballot.
§ 816. Rejection of ballot for technical error.
§ 817. Rejection of invalid portions.
§ 818. Write-in votes.
The National Election Director or the national election commissioner of each State shall ensure that polling places are supervised by the board of election and such other officials as the National Election Director or the national election commissioner shall deem necessary, who must be present at the designated polling places during the election. Public schools and other public places shall be utilized insofar as practicable as polling places. Rent shall not be charged or paid for the use thereof.
Source: PL 2-73 § 801; amended by PL 8-97 § 19.
Case annotations: The National Election Commissioner has the power to establish voting precincts and designate polling places upon the recommendation of the members of the board of elections of the particular election district. Aten v. National Election Comm’r (II), 6 FSM Intrm. 74, 76-77 (App. 1993).
Each polling place shall be provided with necessary ballot boxes, locks, official ballots, cards of instructions, pencils, registered voters lists, papers, and all other necessary supplies.
Source: PL 2-73 § 802.
At exactly seven a.m. of the day of the election, a member of the board of election shall proclaim aloud at each place of election that the polls are open and shall be kept open until five p.m., of the same day, after which time the polls shall be closed; provided, that if at the hour of closing there are any other voters in the polling place, or in line at the door, who are qualified to vote and have not been able to do so since appearing, the polls shall be kept open a sufficient time to enable them to vote; provided further, that if all registered voters appearing on a registered voters list for any polling place have voted, that polling place may close irrespective of the time of day; provided further, that if an election for State office is held on the same day as the national election and the time for closing is later than five p.m. then the closing time for the State election shall prevail.
Source: PL 2-73 § 803; PL 3-36 § 1.
Case annotations: When a state election is held on the same date as the national election and the closing time for the state poll is later than the 5:00 p.m. closing time for the national election, then the later state closing time prevails for the national election as well. The poll remains open to allow all who are waiting in line at closing time to vote. Aten v. National Election Comm’r (II), 6 FSM Intrm. 74, 79 (App. 1993).
Any person appearing in the polling place shall report his name in full and his address to the election officials. An election official shall then check the register of voters as to whether or not the person appearing is a registered voter and if so, shall announce the name and address appearing in the register. At this point a challenge may be interposed on the grounds that the ballot is subject to challenge under law or rules or regulations issued by the national election commissioner or the National Election Director. Voting shall then proceed in accordance with procedures prescribed by the national election commissioner; however, all voting shall be by secret ballot.
Source: PL 2-73 § 804; amended by PL 8-97 § 20.
No campaigning shall be conducted within 100 feet of a ballot box on election day and no alcoholic beverages shall be sold, consumed in public or otherwise provided to any person during election day while the polls are open. No candidate shall be allowed within 100 feet of any ballot box except for the purpose of casting his ballot. There shall be no campaigning over any State broadcast station on election day.
Source: PL 2-73 § 805, as amended by PL 11-62 § 11.
Each candidate shall be entitled to have not more than two poll watchers at each polling place.
Source: PL 2-73 § 806.
Any person may file an oral or written complaint of any election irregularity with a member of the board of election present at the polling place. The board member shall give any individual against whom the complaint is made time to present witnesses and an explanation, if any, but in no event shall time be granted so as to prevent the board of election from making a decision prior to the time for the closing of the polls. The complainant, or the individual against whom the complaint is made, may appeal the decision to the national election commissioner of the State concerned or his designated representative. The national election commissioner, or his said representative, shall, as soon as possible, examine the findings of the board of election and may hear may hear witnesses, if he deems necessary. The national election commissioner, or his representative, shall make his decision prior to the time of the closing of the polls or as soon as practicable, and the aggrieved party may appeal the decision in accordance with section 903 of this title. In the event the decision of the national election commissioner, or his designated representative, cannot be obtained as heretofore provided, the aggrieved party may file a petition with the National Election Director prior to certification of the results of the election or within one week of the election, whichever occurs first. A candidate may appeal a decision of the National Election Director or national election commissioner or of the election board in accordance with section 903 of this title.
Source: PL 2-73 § 807; amended by PL 5-70 § 15; PL 8-97 § 21.
After all voting is completed, all ballot boxes shall be secured and locked. The locked boxes and all other supplies provided to the polling places by the national election commissioner shall be collected by election officials and delivered to the national election commissioner of the State concerned, or his duly authorized representative, by the most expeditious means available and be certified to said national election commissioner that the ballots so delivered were cast in accordance with provisions of this title.
Source: PL 2-73 § 808.
The national election commissioner of each State shall establish a counting and tabulation committee composed of not less than five members. The committee shall publicly count and tally all votes cast and determine the acceptability thereof. Such counting of ballots cast in any election district shall begin after all the polls in such election district are closed and shall continue until all votes cast shall have been counted. Each candidate or his authorized representative shall be entitled to be present at the tabulation of the votes. Upon the completion of the counting and tabulation of all votes cast in the election district, public announcement of the unofficial results shall be made.
Source: PL 2-73 § 809.
Case annotations: The “two-of-three mechanism,” in which three tabulators tally the votes for a particular candidate as they are read aloud, and either all three tabulators, or at least two the three tabulators, must aloud, and either all three tabulators, or at least two of the three tabulators, must agree on the results for the results to be taken as correct, is not illegal, unreasonable, improper or prohibited. This mechanism will produce an accurate count for most ballot boxes. Olter v. National Election Comm’r, 3 FSM Intrm. 123, 135-37 (App. 1987).
Upon completion of the counting and tabulation of election results by the national election commissioners, and no later than three days after the certification of election results from all four States have been received by the National Election Director, the National Election Director shall certify the election results and shall declare as the winning candidates for the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia from each election district the candidates receiving the plurality of votes cast in each election. Upon certification and declaration of the results, the National Election Director shall immediately provide to all election candidates notice of such certification in the most practical and expeditious manner available.
Source: PL 2-73 § 810; amended by PL 8-97 § 22 and PL 11-62 § 12.
After all votes have been tabulated by the national election commissioner and his or her designees and certified to by the national election commissioner of the State concerned, if two or more candidates shall have received an equal number of votes, such tie shall be resolved by a runoff election between those candidates held within 30 days. The candidate receiving the plurality of votes in the runoff shall be declared the winner, and the result shall be certified under the procedures of section 810 of this chapter.
Source: PL 2-73 § 811; amended by PL 8-97 § 23, modified.
In precincts or other areas where the national election commissioner of the State concerned deems it impracticable that ballot boxes be delivered to a central place for counting and tabulating, the national election commissioner shall appoint a local committee to count, tabulate, certify, and report votes in such manner and according to such rules as the national election commissioner and the National Election Director shall establish.
Source: PL 2-73 § 812; amended by PL 8-97 § 24.
All ballots which have been declared invalid due to defacement or other irregularity shall be sorted and a notation placed upon them indicating that they are rejected ballots. Upon completion of the counting of the ballots, the rejected ballots shall be placed in the ballot box and returned by the counting and tabulating committee to the national election commissioner with the validly cast ballots.
Source: PL 2-73 § 813.
Two or more markings in one voting square or a mark made partly within and partly without a voting square or space does not make a ballot void.
Source: PL 2-73 § 814.
Any voter who spoils a ballot may return it to a member of the board of election and receive another in its place. He shall be given one ballot at a time; provided, that the number of ballots given him is not to exceed three in all.
Source: PL 2-73 § 815.
At any election a ballot shall not be rejected for any technical error which does not render it impossible to determine the voter’s choice, even though the ballot is soiled or partially defaced.
Source: PL 2-73 § 816.
If for any reason a ballot is imperfectly marked if it is impossible to determine the voter’s choice for any office, his ballot shall not be counted for the office, but the rest of his ballot, if properly marked, shall be counted.
Source: PL 2-73 § 817.
Write-in votes may be used in general and special elections. Any name written upon a ballot shall be counted as a vote for the person whose name is so written for the office under which it is written.
Source: PL 2-73 § 818.