FSMC, TITLE 9.  NATIONAL ELECTIONS
 
 
Chapter 1:  General Provisions

101.     Short title.
102.     Eligible voters.
103.     Election to be by secret ballot.
104.     General elections When held.
105.     Vacancies Special election.
106.     Appropriations.
107.     Use of Government broadcast facilities.
108.     Affidavit to be sworn.
109.     Violations.

      101.  Short title.
     Title 9 of the Code of the Federated States of Micronesia is repealed insofar as it may apply to national elections of the Federated States of Micronesia and there is hereby adopted a National Election Code.

Source:  PL 2-73 101.

Case annotations:  The FSM Supreme Court finds within the Administrative Procedures Act, 17 FSMC 101-113, the necessary flexibility to expedite review of an administrative proceeding.  Olter v. National Election Commr, 3 FSM Intrm. 123, 128 (App. 1987).

For elections, the timing provisions of the National Election Code prevail over any conflicting timing set out in the APA.  Olter v. National Election Commr, 3 FSM Intrm. 123, 129 (App. 1987).

The fact that some provisions of the APA are overridden by the National Election Code does not constitute either an explicit or implicit statement that the judicial review provisions of the APA are partially or wholly inapplicable to appeals from decisions of the commissioner.  The APA is not an all or nothing statute.  That the APAs timing provisions do not apply to recount petitions does not mean the APAs judicial review provisions are inapplicable to appeals from denial of such petitions.  Olter v. National Election Commr, 3 FSM Intrm. 123, 130 (App. 1987).

Generally, the conduct of elections is left to the political branches of government, unless the court has powers specifically given to it by Congress contrary to that general rule.  Kony v. Mori, 6 FSM Intrm. 28, 29 (Chk. 1993).

Generally speaking, elections are conducted and carried out and administered by the executive and legislative branches.  Courts do not have a primary position in that traditional scheme.  The election law states the time at which the court has the right of entertaining an appeal from the final action of the National Election Director.  Wiliander v. Siales, 7 FSM Intrm. 77, 79 (Chk. 1995).

Where the election law provides for remedies that have not yet been used a candidate cannot show irreparable harm necessary for the issuance of a temporary restraining order.  Wiliander v. Siales, 7 FSM Intrm. 77, 80 (Chk. 1995).

Congress intended that the National Election Code be applied uniformly throughout the nation.  Wiliander v. Mallarme, 7 FSM Intrm. 152, 161 (App. 1995).

While there may be cases in which the court would enter a matter before the election process has been completed the court will not do so where none of the acts complained of are contrary to law.  Wiliander v. Siales, 7 FSM Intrm. 77, 80 (Chk. 1995).

      102.  Eligible voters.
     Every citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia is eligible to vote for Members of the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia, if he or she has fulfilled the following requirements:

     (1)     be 18 years of age or older on the day of the election;

     (2)     be a resident or domiciliary of the State of Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk, or Yap and a registered voter therein for at least 30 days immediately preceding the election;

     (3)     is not currently under a judgment of mental incompetency or insanity;

     (4)     is not currently under parole, probation, or sentence for any felony for which he or she has been convicted by any court of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Trust Territory, or any court within the jurisdiction of the United States; and

      (5)  is not currently disqualified to vote under section 305 of this title.

Source:  PL 2-73 102; amended by PL 8-97   2.

Case annotations:  Where there is a conflict between a statute of general application to numerous agencies or situations, such as the APA, and a statute specifically aimed at a particular agency or procedure, such as the National Election Code, the more particularized provision will prevail.  This rule is based upon recognition that the legislative body, in enacting the law of specific application, is better focused and speaks more directly to the affected agency and procedure.  Olter v. National Election Commr, 3 FSM Intrm. 123, 129 (App. 1987).

      103.  Election to be by secret ballot.
     All congressional elections for Members of the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia shall be by secret ballot.

Source:  PL 2-73 103.

Cross-reference:  FSM Const., art. VI, 1.

      104.  General elections When held.
     All general elections for Members of the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia shall be held biennially in each odd-numbered year on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in March; provided, that in the event of a natural disaster or other act of God, the effect of which precludes holding the election on the foregoing date, the President of the Federated States of Micronesia may proclaim a later election in the affected State or congressional district or districts.

Source:  PL 2-73 104.

Cross-reference:  FSM Const., art. VI, 1.

      105.  Vacancies Special election.

     (1)     After the election of the President and Vice President, vacancies shall be declared by the Speaker of Congress for the seats to which the President and Vice President were originally elected as Members-at-large of the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia.  Upon notification by the Speaker, the national election commissioner of the affected State shall schedule a special election to occur 50 days after receipt of notification.  A candidate for the special election must submit a petition for candidacy within 20 days after the national election commissioner schedules the special election.  After all candidates are registered, the National Election Director shall cause the ballots to be produced.  Absentee ballots are to be available from the National Election Director up to five days before the election date.

     (2)     Any other vacancy in the Congress shall be filled for the unexpired term by special election, except that an unexpired term of one year or less shall be filled by appointment by the chief executive of the State affected.  The appointee shall possess the qualifications required by section 201 of this title and shall serve only for the unexpired term.

Source:  PL 2-73 105; amended by PL 8-97 3.

      106.  Appropriations.
     Within one year prior to a general election, Congress shall appropriate a sum adequate to defray the administrative and contingent expenses of conducting congressional elections as provided by this title.

Source:  PL 2-73 106.

      107.  Use of Government broadcast facilities.

     (1)     Government broadcast facilities may be made available to candidates within any State, except on the day of election, pursuant to the discretion of the national election commissioner of the State concerned after that commissioner has obtained approval from appropriate State authorities. The national election commissioner shall afford each candidate equal opportunity in the use of Government broadcast facilities.  If the national election commissioner cannot provide equal opportunities to the candidates in the use of Government broadcast facilities, then no candidate shall be allowed their use whatsoever.  Each candidate shall advise the national election commissioner not later than 24 hours prior to his intended use of Government broadcast facilities.  Failure to notify the national election commissioner of the proposed use of the above described facilities within the prescribed time limit may disqualify the candidate from the use of these Government facilities.

     (2)     No Government vehicles or vessels may be made available without cost to candidates.

Source:  PL 2-73 107.

Cross-reference:  The statutory provisions on Telecommunications are found in title 21 of this code.

      108.  Affidavit to be sworn.
     The affidavits required pursuant to this title shall be sworn to before any officer or person authorized by law to administer oaths except for the affidavit accompanying absentee ballots which does not need to be witnessed.

Source:  PL 2-73 108; amended by PL 5-70 1.

      109.  Violations.
     Any person who violates any of the provisions of this title or any rules or regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, for which a penalty is not otherwise provided, who votes or attempts to vote more than one time, or interferes with the orderly process of the elections, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $500, or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

Source:  PL 2-73 110; renumbered by PL 8-97 30.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
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