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Posted: Monday, November 19th, 2007 5:01 AM HST

Marshallese in Arkansas vote in homeland's elections

By Associated Press

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) _ Arkansas' growing Marshallese population mailed absentee ballots over the weekend for today's national elections on the Pacific island chain.

Northwest Arkansas is home to as many as 3,000 Marshallese. Candidates from the islands have campaigned in northwest Arkansas. Other Marshallese leaders have visited the state to update Marshallese residents on economic development initiatives back home.

The absentee ballots needed to be postmarked Saturday to count in the elections, in which members of parliament will be elected.

Hawaii has the largest population outside the Marshall Islands, while Arkansas has the largest population in the continental United States. Many from the Micronesian island chain came to northwest Arkansas to work in Tyson Foods' meat-processing plants.

(Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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