Voters are going to the polls today September 22nd to cast their vote for the two (2) presidential candidates that will be on the final ballot in the November general election.
Given the world pandemic and its impact, it is not easy to predict voter turnout this year. For example, in the 2016 general election, there were a total of 10,084 out of the 16,320 who casted their vote during the General Election, about 61% voter turnout. With COVID-19 still prevalent in different countries, it might present challenges for some of the registered voters to cast their votes.
Limited flights also provide an extra challenge for the primary election. So far, Palau Election Commission Office had sent out 1,978 absentee ballots and have received 728 of the absentee ballots.
This primary election, registered voters can either cast their votes at the proper box or the central box. Ngarachamayong Cultural Center is the confirmed venue for the central box for voters Babeldaob and outlying States, giving more chances for people to cast their vote.
The proper boxes are dispersed in different areas of Palau’s states. In Airai State, Ked Center is the designated proper box for people who are registered under Ngchesechang and Oikull. Ordomel voters will go to Bai ra Melengel. Bai ra Oberaod will be the proper box for voters registered in Ngerusar, Ngetkib, and Ngeruluobel.
In Koror, there are a total of 8 different proper box locations. Taoch ra Mechang, Taoch ra Nandeng, Catholic Church Osiaol, Koror State Assembly Hall, Bai ra Ngedechibel, Ngarachamayong Cultural Center, Skogio ra Meyuns Youth Center, and Ngerkebesang Summer House.
Catholic Church Osial and Koror State Assembly Hall will both be a proper box for 3 hamlets in Koror. Voters registered under Ngerchemai, Iyebukel, and Idid will go to Catholic Church Osial. While voters registered under Meketii, Ikelau, and Dngeronger will go to Koror State Assembly Hall.
Ngermiid voters will go to Taoch ra Mechang, Ngerkesoal voters will go to Taoch ra Nandeng, Medalaii voters will go to Ngarachamayong Cultural Center, and Ngerbeched voters will go to Bai ra Ngedechibel.
State offices will be a designated proper box such as the state offices in Ngarchelong, Ngaraard, Melkeok, Ngchesar, Ngardmau, and Peleliu. Angaur and Ngaremlengui’s proper boxes will be at their respective old age centers. As for the other remaining states, Kayangel’s proper box will be at Bai ra Seinedang, Ngiwal voters will go to Bai ra Labek, Aimeliik voters will go to the Community Center and Ngardmau’s proper box will be located at their state building. Ngatpang, their State Office Summer House will serve as the proper box.
With the proper and central box locations already set, other preparations are taken care of including 100 trained volunteers that will attend to the voters. Additionally, safety measures have been put in place including having rubbing alcohol readily available at polling places.