Thursday, July 17, 2008


KEEPING THE NOSE TO THE GROUND: The actions of the County Clerk of Honolulu regarding the potential rejection of the anti-rail petition initiative is undergoing scrutiny that apparently only reporting bloggers can give it.

Today Doug White at Poinography did what the corporate reporters seem incapable of doing- reading the Honolulu Charter rather than just asking the two know-nothings from two “sides” what they think the law actually says while Doug actually looked it up.

Citing the Honolulu Charter, Doug quite rightly sees that it is the discretion of the Clerk that will determine whether the measure can go on the ballot in November, based on complicated wording regarding “special elections” vs. “general elections” in the charter and in the petition itself.

Ian Lind cites Doug’s work and notes that the petition itself refers to the “special election” only in the introduction, not in the text of the initiative itself.

We won’t rehash all the intricacies that they cover very well but both seem to accept the fact that the balloting must be done either through a “special” electron OR a general election.

The fact appears to be that there is nothing in either state law or apparently in the Honolulu Charter that prohibits a “special election” from being held in conjunction with- and at the same time as- a “general election”.

As a matter of fact that is exactly what the County Clerk has done on Kaua`i by proclaiming that Kaua`i will hold a “special election” for the open mayoral position following the death of Mayor Bryan Baptiste and will hold one “in conjunction with” the general election this November 4.

No one seems sure whether or not the Honolulu County Clerk will use his discretion to put the matter on the ballot on November 4.

But if it’s a matter of not doing it because somehow the interpretation of the petition itself is that it can only be done in a “special election” nothing apparently bans having both kinds of elections on the same day.

And of course if people are going to argue against voting on the petition based on the cost of holding an election just for the ballot issue after the November general election it would stand to reason that the Clerk can make that issue moot by holding both the same day.

No comments: