In continuing with the trend of record-breaking voter turnouts in the US Election, Americans in Bermuda have cast the largest number of absentee ballots ever

According to US Consul General, Gregory Slayton, more people were interested in this year's election with American citizens on the Island making sure that their vote was counted.

"There has definitely been more interest, more people voting. There are more people flying to the States to vote and that's great.

"We have thousands of American citizens, we estimate between 7,000 and 9,000 on the Island, most of those are dual nationals and that's great.

He continued: "It's wonderful, it's a big part of Bermuda. We're delighted they take the time to vote in Bermuda and the US election as well."

Mr. Slayton explained his colleagues, Maria Nelson, Sharon Smith and Denyse Evans, were responsible for the absentee ballots and commended them for a job well done.

He said in addition to casting absentee ballots, some Americans on the Island flew to the States in the past few days to make sure their voice was heard.

Speaking at the Hamilton Rotary Club yesterday, Mr. Slayton said: "Voting is a privilege. All you have to do to appreciate that is to spend anytime in a non-democracy and then you start to appreciate it."

In his speech, Mr. Slayton discussed the importance of the relationship between Bermuda and the US, which is 400 years old.

"The United States is a huge partner to us and we are a huge partner to them", he said.

He said at next year's 400-year celebration, the Island will also be celebrating the 400-year old friendship between Bermuda and the US.

"It is the oldest bilateral friendship in the new world. And I would say one of the most important", Mr. Slayton added.

The Consul General explained that there are many things that bind Bermuda and the US together in addition to the large number of American citizens on the Island. He explained approximately 80 percent of the Island's imports, tourists and financial capital come from the US. Mr. Slayton also said US claimants have received $25 billion from Bermuda insurers and reinsurers in claims.

"It's very much a two-way street. We have proven to be good partners", he added.