(ABOVE VIDEO) Part one of a three part series on the 2014 primary election, filmed during the Hawaii County Council Committee on Public Safety and Mass Transit meeting held on Tuesday (Sept. 30). Video by David Corrigan
- Feeling disenfranchised, voters from the Puna district testified before the Hawaii County Council on the problems that plagued the primary election following Hurricane / Tropical Storm Iselle. Voting was postponed at two precincts but went on as scheduled at others, even though many of the residents who would have voted at those polling locations were stuck at home behind fallen trees and no electricity.
- Hope Cermelj testified that she was a with numerous residents who were turned away at the polls during the makeup election held a few days later. Cermelj said the federal Department of Justice has assigned an attorney to help them. She said they have gathered a “thousand-plus testimonies, emails, letters, phone calls turned into letters”.
- County Clerk Stewart Maeda provided councilmembers with an outline of what the county plans to do to avoid another problem in the general election, especially in the districts under the threat of the lava flow.
- Maeda said 7,542 registered voters in precincts 04-02 (Keonepoko), 04-03 (Pahoa High) and 04-04 (Pahoa Community Center) were mailed letters informing them that seasonal absentee ballots were available for them to use.
- County Elections will open an early walk-in polling site at Nanawale from October 21st to October 31st, the regularly scheduled walk-in voting dates.
- Maeda retraced the steps taken by his office and State Elections during the primary. Councilmember Margaret Wille questioned him about who decided to drop the mail-in ballot idea and go to a makeup election.
- Puna Senator Russel Ruderman also testified at the request of the council committee. He called the situation a “real civil rights violation”. He said he tried to make the state aware of the situation on the ground in Puna before the election, but no one at the elections office would take his call.