Thursday, November 5, 2020

Hawaii elections officials rethink mail-only ballots, long lines spur COVID-19 concerns, Blangiardi and Roth solicit cabinet appointees, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii voters line up in Hilo ©2020 All Hawaii News

 Last-minute surge of isle voters flooded election sites. In a last rush to have their opinion count, hundreds of voters showed up just before the 7 p.m. scheduled close of Hawaii voting centers across every county on Election Day, delaying the release of results for more than four hours. Out of 832,466 registered voters — another record — the number of ballots cast represented 69.6% of registered voters. Star-Advertiser.

‘Distrust,’ Enthusiasm And A Hawaii Law Fueled Long Lines On Election Day. Thousands of Hawaii voters waited for hours in lines outside of Hawaii’s eight voter centers Tuesday night, a situation that election officials have promised to remedy but one that citizen groups have been warning against for months. Civil Beat.

Long wait for Hawaii vote spurs call for more voter centers. Voter advocates say Hawaii should set up more voter service centers after a last-minute surge of interest led to hours-long lines for in-person voting on Election Day even as the state switched to a vote-by-mail system for casting ballots. Associated Press.

What worked, what didn’t: Election officials discuss improvements for next election. Election officials said they are reviewing how election-day went after thousands showed-up for in-person voting services on election day. Hawaii News Now.

Near midnight wait leads to call for more voting centers by 2022.
Some voter service centers moved like clockwork and mostly by the election clock. Kauai finished in-person voting just after 7 p.m. Maui and Kona closed about an hour after that, and Hilo at 8:30 p.m. But on Oahu, people were still in line at Honolulu Hale until 10:30 p.m. and Kapolei Hale until nearly 11:30 p.m. KHON2.

Local support for Trump grew in 2020, but it didn’t translate into down-ballot wins. Local support for the Republican presidential candidate rose in 2020 to the highest level observed since the 2004 general election, a sign that enthusiasm for incumbent Donald J. Trump across Hawaii was strong despite the state’s reputation as a Democratic stronghold. Hawaii News Now.

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In A Divided America Kai Kahele Wants To Find A Place To ‘Fit In’. The Democratic state senator is only the second Native Hawaiian elected to Congress since statehood. Civil Beat.

Kahele hopes to bring neighbor island perspective to Congress. Democratic state Sen. Kai Kahele plans to amplify the voices of the neighbor islands after winning the U.S. House District 2 seat Tuesday night with 63% of the vote. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo’s Kai Kahele Heading To Washington As Next Congressman. Kahele is looking to recruit individuals to serve in key positions on his Congressional staff in Washington D.C. and in his District Office. Big Island Video News.

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Tam To Serve As Only Open LBGTQ State Lawmaker. Adrian Tam is the new state House representative for District 22 covering the Kakaako and Waikiki area. Hawaii Public Radio.

Suicides In Hawaii Appear To Be Decreasing — Despite Pandemic. Experts say the preliminary data is an encouraging indicator that people are paying closer attention to their mental health and getting help. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — Nov. 4: 156 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Hawaii health officials reported 156 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, including 21 cases on Hawaii Island, one on Lanai, four on Maui, 125 on Oahu, and five out of state. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Honolulu Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi’s transition team already underway. Honolulu Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi said today that he has his sights set on a second-in-command and is putting together a transition group to help him pick others in his cabinet. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s next mayor is ready to hit the ground running. After winning the election, Rick Blangiardi says that he is ready to tackle some of the city’s most important issues. KHON2.

Why Honolulu Chose Rick Blangiardi Over Keith Amemiya. First-time candidates Rick Blangiardi and Keith Amemiya couldn’t run on their political records, so experts say it came down to personality. Civil Beat.

A day after election, efforts to reorganize City Council are already underway. There are five newcomers on the nine-member City Council ― its biggest turnover in years. Hawaii News Now.

Some first time politicians have been elected on O'ahu. First time politicians join City Council. KITV4.

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Long lines at Oahu polling locations trigger fears of COVID-19 spread. Onlookers are raising concerns about whether the large crowds of voters ― hundreds at several points through the day and into the evening ― could have been exposed to COVID-19. Hawaii News Now.

You didn't need a mask to vote in Honolulu. Of the more than 4,200 in-person voters on O'ahu, Honolulu Elections Administrator Rex Quidilla told KITV4 only a "handful" refused to wear a mask. KITV4.

Long Election Day voter lines lead to complaints. Honolulu election officials said they anticipated more Oahu residents would show up on Election Day to vote at one of the two designated voter services centers on the island, just not 4,520 of them during that 12-hour span. Star-Advertiser.

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Honolulu appears unlikely to advance to Tier 3. With 125 coronavirus cases reported on Oahu, it appears unlikely that Honolulu will move this month to the next phase of economic reopening. In fact, it could move backward, warns Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Police Department to deploy COVID-19 quarantine response teams on Oahu. The Honolulu Police Department has created a small unit of police officers to check up on incoming travelers who are supposed to be quarantined on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Ward Village developer plans for 2 more towers. Two towers with 1,243 homes will be in the next phase of Ward Village, according to the developer of the master-planned community in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

Pali Lookout reopens to trickle of visitors. A trickle of visitors on Wednesday enjoyed the panoramic view at Nuuanu Pali State Wayside — more popularly known as Pali Lookout — on the first day of its reopening since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Roth hitting the ground running: Cabinet positions available to be filled by Dec. 7. After a decisive win late Tuesday in his bid for mayor, Hawaii County Prosecutor Mitch Roth hit the ground running Wednesday, preparing to close one county office while he begins assembling a cabinet so he’ll be ready to take over the next one Dec. 7. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Mayor-elect Mitch Roth wants to change the ‘philosophy of government’.
Hawaii County-elect Mayor Mitch Roth will take over on Dec. 7, giving him just over a month to build his cabinet. Star-Advertiser.

Kimball, Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder talk priorities after winning council seats in Tuesday’s election. The District 1 and District 5 contests were the only contested council races on the ballot in the general election. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island to Change Pre-Travel Testing Model, Administer Fewer Second Tests
. Hawai‘i County will transition away from its pre-travel testing model, through which all travelers are tested twice, once on the mainland and once upon their arrival to the Big Island. Big Island Now.

Ke Kula O Ehunuikaimalino students test positive for COVID-19. Two Ke Kula O Ehunuikaimalino students recently tested positive for COVID-19, days after the school reopened for limited in-person learning. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Voting officials surprised by large Maui precinct turnout. More than 230 voters in line during peakCounty officials and volunteers were surprised with the large turnout of in-person voters on Election Day at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku. Maui Now.

MEO Celebrates New Buses with Blessing. The buses will primarily transport Head Start keiki and will supplement MEO Youth transportation services. Maui Now.

Kauai


Kaua‘i sees 72% turnout for 2020 General Election. Kaua‘i recorded a record 72% voter turnout for the 2020 General Election. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i residents approve six charter amendments. Residents voted in favor of reducing the qualifications required to be considered for the roles of the county’s Department of Public Works County Engineer and Water Board Manager. Garden Island.

Kawakami signs Bill No. 2803. Mayor Derek Kawakami signed Bill No. 2803, amending homestead-exemption status for full-time Kaua‘i residents for property-tax purposes. Garden Island.

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