April 24, 2009

No Polling Places or Lines in Honolulu's First All Mail Election

Without polling places or lines, Hawaii's first all-mail election Thursday filled a vacancy on the Honolulu City Council with J. Ikaika Anderson emerging victorious.

Never before has any citywide or statewide election in the state been conducted entirely using mail-in ballots.

Voters chose from 11 candidates in the winner-take-all special election for the Windward Oahu seat that became empty when City Councilwoman Barbara Marshall died Feb. 22 from colon cancer at age 64.

Anderson, who garnered 12,582 votes, or 49 percent the votes cast, was Marshall's longtime aide, and had the endorsement of her husband, Cliff Ziems. Former City Councilman Steven Holmes placed second with 3,612 votes.

The council has jurisdiction over all of Oahu and its 900,000 residents.

The convenience of mailing a no-postage-required ballot is expected to improve voter turnout after Hawaii had the lowest voting rate in the country during November's general election with only about 51 percent of eligible voters casting ballots.


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