Thu. Nov 21st, 2019

Petitioners launch signature campaign to limit absentee voting

Petitioners officially rolled out their signature campaign Sunday, April 28, at the Bank Pacific parking lot in Lebuu St. in a bid to amend the constitution to limit absentee voting only to Palauans who are temporarily away from the country.

Palauan citizen Tutii Chilton, who is among those who help launch the petition, told Island Times that they had signed out petition sheets to 15 people who are now collecting signatures from registered voters.

Chilton said that they will soon provide an update about how many signatures they are able to gather by middle of May.

“I am working with a group of Palauans who are interested in putting this petition to a vote so that the people of Palau can decide,” Chilton said.

Former President Johnson Toribiong, according to Chilton, served as the petitioners’ advisor and has helped them in the legal and technical aspects in getting signatures for the petition.

“We need 5,000 signatures to meet the 25% requirement of the registered voters in Palau and the Palau Election Commission will need to verify all the names of people who signed the petition before the referendum can be put to the people of Palau to vote,” Chilton said.

The petition seeks to amend current version of Article VII of Palau’s constitution to “require that a voter must cast his or her vote within the geographic territory of the Republic of Palau, as defined by Article I of the Palau Constitution, in order for his or her vote to be valid.”

It also seeks to prohibit voting by absentee ballot in both national and state elections except to voters who are “temporarily away from the geographic territory” of the country.

Chilton added that those who are interested to sign the petition and help collect signatures may contact him at 779-1674 or email him at tutiichilton@yahoo.com. He also said that interested individuals can also stop by Bank Pacific parking lot every Wednesday from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)