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March 2009

September 2009

President's Message for Spring
Come to the Biennial Convention May 30!
Public Funding of Election Campaigns (Kory Payne)
Bills Relating to Health Care (Joy Marshall & Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Election Day Registration (Jean Aoki)
Housing (Jackie Parnell)
Major Challenges for 2010 Elections (Jean Aoki)
Civil Unions (Jean Aoki)
My Favorite Testimony
Proposed Budget June 1, 2009 - May 31, 2010 (Susan Miller)
Voting Rights, Incarcerated Persons (Jean Aoki)
Withrdawals and Nominations (Jean Aoki)
Corporate Donations (Jean Aoki)
Mahalo to All the Contributors to Our Big Non-Event!
Campaign to Stop Legalized Gambling Successful (Grace Furukawa & Pearl Johnson)
Local Legue Reports - Honolulu (Piilani Kaopuiki)
Local League Reports - Hawaii (Leilani Bronson-Crelly & Susan Dursin)
Local League Reports - Kauai

Major Challenges for 2010 Elections

Kevin B. Cronin was appointed as Chief Elections Officer about a year before the 2008 Elections. In a report to the Legislature in January, 2009, he mentioned two major challenges that have developed since the last elections. These were discussed by the Elections Commission on February 18, 2009.

First, “because the contract with Hart InterCivic that provided the equipment and technical support for the 2008 Elections has been terminated, and because the protest on the contract continues pending appeal with a final decision that could be many months away, no voting system and technical services are now available for the 2010 Elections.”

The second major problem is the unanticipated resignations of two section heads - Election Support Services and Ballot Operations, both critical to election operations. The positions need to be filled as soon as possible, but a state agency hiring freeze is in effect. Permission to authorize hiring of two section heads has been requested. Two present staffers could be promoted to those positions but that would require replacements for them. There is also a question as to whether the two promoted could be given raises reflecting their new responsibilities.

Both positions involve complex responsibilities. For example, the head of Ballot Operations is responsible for “the designing of ballots, printing, organizing, distributing, and collecting ballots and related materials used in the elections.” Ballot design depends on the number of political parties with candidates on the ballot, the number of candidates for each seat, number of ballot issues, etc. After the primary election, new ballots need to be designed and printed for the general elections. Since names and ballot issues on ballots differ between districts/counties, delivering the ballots accurately to 330 polling site is a challenge. At the end of the day, ballots and other material must be collected from each polling site, and delivered to the counting centers.

2008 Elections

The 2008 Elections were conducted fairly well according to the Elections Office. There were no major problems, and the early release of election results through the internet, eliminated the need to provide hard copies of the results for the media.

Mr. Cronin cited the successful implementation of a series of performance improvement initiatives: a 25% reduction in the number of control center staff and a shortening of wait time for precinct officials calling in for assistance, for example. .

The AskED program, first deployed in 2006, is an electronic system that permits prompt analysis of and response to elections officials who request assistance to resolve issues arising at the polling place on elections days. This tool allowed the Office of Elections to capture the true performance of the precinct operations and control center customer servicing on election day. Using the data, the office could develop and implement improvements to help them better serve the public and the precinct officials.

Jean Aoki

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