Hawaii Elections Fiascos Prompt Calls For New Legislative Action

Anita Hofschneider/Civil Beat

Problems with the 2012 election and continued low voter turnout are sparking a number of legislative proposals this year.

The Hawaii Legislature this session is expected to consider a number of election reform proposals including a measure that advocates hope will rectify the series of administrative mishaps that tarnished last year’s elections.

Good-government advocates also want to boost voter participation by making it easier for Hawaii voters to cast their ballots.

Most of the snafus revolved around the Big Island and its former county clerk Jamae Kawauchi, who was blamed for severely mishandling her elections-related preparation duties and causing the delayed opening of 13 polling places on the island the day of the primary.

The problems highlighted an electoral system that critics said lacked clarity about who could hold Kawauchi accountable and ensure that elections run smoothly.

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