Categorized | Elections, News

Democrats concern over Puna election

Mr. Scott Nago
State of Hawaii Office of Elections
Honolulu, Hawaii

Aloha,

I write this letter on behalf of the Hawaii County Democrats who are involved In both the recovery of the affected area and the election process. We thank you for all you are trying to do to conduct a fair and transparent election process.

Our concern is for the people of Puna first and of course their right to vote is a common goal we share with your office.

We understand that the Election is going forward, however, based on reports from our Hawaii County Chairman, District 4 Chairman, and voters in the Precincts 04-01 and 04-02, it appears that planning for the Special election in these precincts were conducted in a confusing manner that did not offer the greatest opportunity for voters to be apprised of the date, time and location of the special election.

On Saturday, August 9th, Primary election day, there were signs posted at the closed polling stations for Precincts 04-01 and 04-02 that stated residents would get the opportunity to send in a mail-in absentee ballot within 21 days.

Two days later, there was a change in elections procedure announced via the media that the election would be on Friday or Saturday and there would be two polling stations.

Then less than an hour later, there was another change and an announcement was made to the media on TV, the internet, and email that voting was to be on Friday at only one location.

I commend the efforts of the Hawaii County Elections Office who are working hard to publicize the announcement about Friday’s election to registered voters in these precincts.

However, based on reports from Puna, there are many registered voters in the two affected precincts who are still not getting this information because electricity, cable, internet, phone services are still down.

I understand that a letter was being sent to all the registered voters in these two precincts informing them of Friday’s election.

I hope lessons were learned and that while this Hurricane impacted the Primary in this manner, we still have the General Election to go and we wish to work with your office like we have in the past for a transparent and smooth election.

The Big Island Democrats will be at the polls and assist in whichever way possible to ensure this. If there is anything more we can help with, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Best wishes,
Stephanie Ohigashi
State Chairperson Democratic Party of Hawaii

One Response to “Democrats concern over Puna election”

  1. Devin says:

    Not to mention the many people who were even turned down from being able to vote because they were not registered in that area – even though the puna district was hit from the hurricane/tropical storm didn’t mean that east Hawaii/Big isle/Hawaii wasn’t in the mood to vote vs getting ready for the first possible hurricane for the Big island – I myself didn’t vote and have never mailed in an absentee vote before so I really had no idea how or how it worked due to the storm afterwards… All I saw living in Hilo was us boarding up our windows for the hurricane followed by a day off during the storm – finding out that puna district was hit – then back to work again – finding out that only puna district could vote – and spending time helping in any way to get that area safe while still to this day hoping that everyone gets their power back. The entire voting ordeal is really sad as all of Hawaii seemed to have very little interest in the puna district other than the community and businesses itself when it came to help and support and it’s very dishearting to see what has taken place.

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