Honolulu City Council Wants Governor to Investigate General Election

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Hawaii Elections 2012Public outrage is on the rise after more information about the Office of Elections management failures on General Election Day is documented. Hundreds of people at 24 precincts around Oahu waited as long as three hours to vote because of ballot shortages. In some cases, people left without voting because they could not wait.

Callers to local talk shows are demanding a revote. Several note the precincts that ran out of ballots were largely in districts that opposed the controversial $5.2 billion rail project and supported the mayoral candidacy of former Gov. Ben Cayetano. Cayetano lost the election to union-backed Kirk Caldwell after a substantial lead in the polls.


In response to public outcry, the Honolulu City Council passed a unanimous resolution on Wednesday requesting Gov. Neil Abercrombie conduct an investigation into the November 6 General Election.

Councilman Tom Berg, who introduced the resolution, said “It is our duty and obligation to speak up and restore faith in the voting process. To sit back and do nothing is inexcusable. We must, as an elected body, take action.”

Election officials have disclosed that 24 out of 140 polling places on the island of Oahu ran out of paper ballots during the General Election. (See the list here – BALLOT INVENTORY ISSUES BY POLLING PLACE).

The number was originally reported as 5 polling places, but by the day after the election, that number had increased by nearly five times.

With just one electronic voting machine at each location, only about 10 voters per hour could be accommodated. Others waited in line for sometimes more than hour for additional paper ballots to arrive.

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii earlier called on the Hawaii State Legislature to take action.

“We ask the Legislature to respond to this review as necessary to ensure that in future elections voters are not faced with avoidable inconvenience and frustration as occurred in Hawaii County on August 11 and in Honolulu City and County on November 6, 2012,” said League President Beppie Shapiro.

Shapiro said the League of Women Voters believes that voting is a fundamental citizen right that must be protected.

“Problems encountered in the November 6 General Election, which included ballot shortages, incorrect ballots which did not reflect the candidates for the district, excessive wait times for determination of eligibility to vote or of correct polling site, turning away voters who did not provide a photo ID, and long lines at polling places,” Shapiro said. “These voter access problems undermine the most fundamental feature of a democracy, a citizen’s right to vote. With Hawaii’s dismal voter participation rate receiving national attention, the League is distressed to learn that many people who tried to vote in Tuesday’s election found the process so onerous that they gave up and did not complete ballots. This is unfair to candidates as well as to voters.”

Citizens of Hawaii deserve to know why the problems occurred, and what needs to be done to improve the voting process and ensure that the state does not face similar problems in the 2014 elections, Shapiro maintained.

State Elections Office spokesman Rex Quidilla explained the reasons the shortages occurred is because the ballot order was incorrect. As the election staff rushed to deliver more ballots at locations across the island, their progress was slowed by afternoon traffic.

Quidilla said the election administrators apologized for the error that left people across the island frustrated, and led some to leave the polls without voting.

Quidilla said no candidate has filed a formal complaint. If any candidates do opt to file a challenge to the election results, the complaint will go directly to the Hawaii Supreme Court for consideration.






  1. And how about the other election shinagons pre-elections???? Something is rotten in Denmark!…I mean Honolulu…sorry Mr. Shakespeare.

  2. Unfortunately, this event (a miscalculation of ballots) stinks! There are a pre-determined number of registered voters both on absentee voting lists, and poll lists. The questions that has not been asked of the State Elections Office is, did you not test the ordering process before the election? Why should you have to have a re-order process when the numbers of registered are pre-determined by registration?

    Does it not make sense to order the registered quantity, plus a percentage in case individuals make an error and need a new ballot (certainly that would not be everyone voting)? If you recognize that this fiasco invalidates this election because of the fact that your office caused this to fail, why do you need to wait for a candidate to complain before you correct a wrong that you have already admitted to?

  3. What you (The State Office of Elections and the Governor) have done is undermine the constitution and peopls right to vote in an honest election process. Not only are you guilty of this, you could be guilty of collusion with Union Officals to continue to exploit tax payers money if an effort to continue the building of a steel rail system, since promises were made to union workers in 2008 (by the way how you got elected) they must be kept or face the consequences of union furor ( dock strikes, construction strikes, and other strangulation methods).

    I have to give you (the Governor, and Election Officials) credit you really know how to lead the sheep to the wolves, minimize the conversation about wrongdoings and the peoples' memories will get cloudy about what happened and who was responsible, then you can orchestrate another event to take the focus off of the pain of destruction.

  4. The election fiacso is not much different from the Stevie Wonder fiasco, M.R.C. Greenwood presented a letter through her attorny to the board of regents that said, if she is fired they (the board) would have to pay her $2M. Realizing that the board did not want to pay her no matter how bad of a job she has done, inspite of the fact that she is responsible for not knowing what members of her staff were doing, she was (maybe) intimidated to keep the perpetrator on her staff in a lower capacity (same salary). Now the boeard has come to a conclusion not to firre her, but giver her a chance to outlive her contract to save face plus, the litigation and court costs associated with doing the correct thing and punishing the guilty.

  5. The unions are strangling the economy of this state, its progression into the future, and most of the elected officials who represent we the people. Last but not least, when we fail to adherre to the U.S. Constitution which states "But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State."

    We fail!

  6. Elections are always flawed and corrupt. It's a fact. No matter how much of a fuss we make over it, things will never change.

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