Dog sleds carried some ballots to polling stations for Greenland’s election on Tuesday, a sign of the hurdles the country faces before it gains its long-held goal of independence from Denmark. Just 56,000 people live on the huge Arctic island. It has no roads between the country’s 17 towns and only one commercial international airport. Consequently, a local fisherman took ballots by dog sled 150 kilometers across Greenland’s ice sheet to Savissivik, one of the island’s most remote towns, near the U.S. air base in Thule, the government said in a press release.
Although most Greenlanders say they want independence at some point, they acknowledge acute social problems are more important. Besides the lack of infrastructure, they include poor housing, a low education level and an economy that depends on fishing and annual grants from Denmark.
Greenland, whose capital Nuuk is closer to New York than it is to Copenhagen, became a Danish colony in the early 19th century but has been gradually taking over governing powers since World War Two.