Voters Faced Closed Doors, Lack Of Ballots
HONOLULU -- Several politicians on Wednesday called for changes
or an investigation at the highest levels of the state Office
of Elections. There were numerous problems at the polls on Tuesday.
A newly elected state senator and the chairman of the Republican
Party said all that trouble is causing Hawaii voters to lose
faith in the state's election system.
Problems started before the polls opened and continued until
after they closed. At Hahaione Elementary School, officials
did not show up for work. So, the polling place could not open
on time. Five other polling places delayed their openings as
well. At two polling places, workers ran out of ballots.
In Kapolei, 10 or more voters said the doors closed early
and they were turned away. "It was about 5:56 p.m. and
they closed the door in our face," Zack Martin said. "We
opened our cell phones up, displayed them to him and the cell
phone said 5:57 p.m.," David McCoy said.
Elections officials said there was no mistake. "We did
call the chairman. Procedures were followed," said Rex
Quidilla of the Office of Elections on Tuesday night.
Elections officers refused to speak with KITV on camera on Wednesday.
Some elected officials said voters should not have to deal with
"People are getting demoralized, disenfranchised.
They're basically saying, 'Why should I put up with the hassles
and headaches?'" Sen.-elect Mike Gabbard said.
"We're frustrated, disappointed at the job the Office of
Elections has done," Republican Party Chairman Sam Aiona
Elections officials have said that they faced a deficit of volunteers
to work at many of the polling sites. In previous years, the
Democratic and Republican parties provided the bulk of workers
to help man the precincts. Recently, the parties have not sent
While there were some problems in this year's elections, officials
said it was relatively smooth compared to other years. Results
were released nearly on time or early, they said.