Tuesday, November 4, 2008

WE’RE READY FOR OUR CLOSE-UP, MRS. DEVILLE

WE’RE READY FOR OUR CLOSE-UP, MRS. DEVILLE: Although the Honolulu Advertiser’s headline blares Election officials ready for 100% turnout it seems that the turnout today won’t effect the election on Kaua`i as much as that of those who voted early.

A whopping 11, 032 people had already voted before the polls opened today, a figure that could be 50% of the votes.

The last comparable November mayoral election on Kaua`i would have to be the 2002 election where the total vote in the mayor’s race was only about 23,000. That year the number of registered voters was only about a thousand less than this year.

That could mean that, unlike in the past when catch-ups and fall-outs were common between the first “printout”- comprised of the early voters and sometimes those who voted before noon- and the final tally, the first release tonight might not be changing much.

The eighth place council candidate after the first tally in the past has “made up” as many as 500 votes when the results were final. But expect anything more than a 200 vote margin for seventh place contender to be insurmountable

It’s anyone’s guess whether the latest of the dozens of screw-up by “King” Kevin Cronin and his state Elections Office will invalidate a stack of the mail-in ballots.

Honolulu Advertiser correspondent and blogger Derrick DePledge tells us today that

Staff at the state Office of Elections believe they have found the reason for the unusually high number of over votes on absentee mail ballots during the September primary in the (Honolulu) mayor’s race.

The Office of Elections rejected 1,599 absentee mail ballots because of overvotes — 3.1 percent of the total — by far the highest for any race.

Kevin Cronin, the state’s chief elections officer, said staff believe that most of the overvotes were caused by the way the ballots were folded. Cronin said the folds — made either when ballots were mailed out or when they were returned by voters — left creases that optical-scan voting machines read as votes for minor candidates Paul Manner and George Nitta.

The creases also created a high number of overvotes in the District 3 state Board of Education race.

“We are approximately 95 percent certain that this is what created the overvotes in the absentee mail ballots,” Cronin said this afternoon.

Although there were no apparent anomalies on Kaua`i in the primaries in terms of overvotes it might be something to look for tonight when the results are released.

It’s just another nail in the coffin for Cronin’s all-the-bells-and-whistles $41 million contract with HartIntercivic that was voided and will have to be re-bid next year.

The question of who is going to bid against them might be a factor when the next system is procured because we’ve learned that their chief competitor ES&S is reportedly closing their office in Honolulu.

And in another one from the “bet you’re gonna vote this time, hippie” file, in following-up on our thoughts yesterday on the voter suppression, vote flipping and the rest of the ubiquitous fraud we realized that it’s all actually doing wonders for the “get out the vote” efforts for Obama.

Normally there’s a self limiting factor in landslides- if people listen to polls and think the vote is a foregone conclusion many don’t bother to vote.

But since people have heard about all the fraud- including a dozen people who pointed out to us yesterday’s Democracy Now! revelations, as summarized well at KauaiEclectic today- the question on voters’ minds is, will the fraud be overwhelmed by a wide enough margin for Obama to win?

A friend in Germany sent us a Spiegel article this morning about a team of German observers in Florida and apparently the Germans are even more outraged about all this than we are.

He translated and paraphrased it this way

European election observers (in Fr. Lauderdale, Fla.) are surprised and complain about that they only allowed to visit one polling place. That this particular polling place was pre-selected by Government Officials. ... this is unacceptable..... to tell election observers which polling place they have to visit and which polling places are not / off limits .... specially in Florida (as we all remember) had in 2000 some irregularities.... we (the election observers) have had expected more sensibility... said Rep. Meinhardt (Member of House of Rep. in Germany)...

And, if you’ve been living in a cave and woke up today trying to find out who was running in the special mayor’s race to replace Bryan Baptiste, you’d know there was an election but wouldn’t know who was running by reading today’s edition of our local Kaua`i rag.

Though it’s chocked full of numbers and the names of everyone else running for office on Kaua`i the article fails to mention the names Bernard Carvalho and JoAnn Yukimura.

Well it could be worse- yesterday there wasn’t an article about the election at all.

Nor has there been a mention much less coverage in the alleged newspaper about the fraudulent nature of the six Charter Amendment amendments on the ballot on Kaua`i.

First off. they were unnumbered on the ballot causing communication between voters regarding the virtues of any particular amendment almost impossible.

Then the inclusion of the entire amendment for the citizen’s General Plan proposal was a sure fire voter suppression measure.

And two of the questions were intentionally worded to give the impression the measure would do the exact opposite of what was described in the question.

Yet as dismal as the actions of the newspaper, the county clerk, the county attorney and the charter commission was the lack of action by the citizens of Kaua`i who declined to file suit before the election... insuring that the fraudulent results will no doubt stand.

All in all it’s been a disappointing election year with few worthy candidates and even fewer seemingly informed voters... par for the course these days in what is billed on CNN as “election result courtesy of Exxon-Mobile.”

We’ll be gagging down and digesting the local results with Lani Kawahara tonight at HawaiiLink, right behind Hamura’s. Join us and celebrate the one bright spot in the Kaua`i election.

6 comments:

Joan said...

Yes, I also thought it the wording of the ballot measures was needlessly confusing and in the case of the county council conflict of interest proposed amendment, downright deceptive.

Will be interesting to see how the vote goes.

Katy Rose said...

So glad to hear Lani made it.

Anyway, I noticed yesterday evening, as I headed down to Wailua with my family, that KKCR wasn't covering the election.

Hmmm...the most historic national election and an important local one as well, and when I turned on the radio to follow results I heard a Neil Young song.

It's even more depressing when you consider that Democracy Now was doing a five-hour election night broadcast.

Laura Christine said...

yeah, Katy Rose, you'd think one of the KKCR talk show hosts would have volunteered their time to do special election coverage for "the most historic national election and an important local one as well" why didn't you?

Katy Rose said...

Hi Laura,

Why not the Democracy Now feed?

I'm not a journalist, and I'm hardly qualified to report on elections.

However, there are certain qualified journalists on island, like Joan Conrow and Andy, for example, who could have been approached.

I'm surprised at your defensiveness, honestly.

Nonyer Biz said...

Andy is hardly a journalist either. Never stops him from offering his opinion.

Ace Harbinger said...

Dickie Chang?

DICKIE CHANG???

I think it is an appalling choice the voters made, but maybe Dickie will surprise us all. Maybe he will actually articulate an intelligible commentary somewhere along the line.

But I doubt it.

A.H.