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Hundreds of Maui voters assigned to the wrong voting district

By Rosemarie Bernardo

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 05:52 a.m. HST, Sep 19, 2010



A boundary line mix-up caused more than 300 voters in Maui to be assigned to the wrong district.

The Maui County Clerk's Office mistakenly assigned voters in the Legends and Na Hoku subdivisions in Maui Lani to the 8th House District instead of the 9th House District. Jeff Hoylman, a Republican candidate for the 9th House District, pointed out the discrepancy to the county clerk's office.

A couple of weeks ago, Hoylman attended a campaign event for 8th House District Republican candidate Dean Schmucker. While there, he ran into some voters from the Legends subdivision who informed him they were assigned to the 8th House District, not the 9th House District where the subdivision is a part of.

Hoylman, a maintenance supervisor for Maui Ocean Center who is running in the 9th House District race for the first time, researched maps that confirmed what he knew all along: voters in the Legends and Na Hoku subdivisions are in 9th District. 

He pointed out the error to Maui County Clerk Jeffrey Kuwada on Wednesday. On Friday, Kuwada confirmed the error. 

Kuwada could not be reached for comment. Rex Quidilla, head of the Office of Elections, said, "They did isolate the issue and redirected voters to the correct polling places."

Hoylman said the error could've affected yesterday's election as well as previous elections. "It bewilders me that all these years went by and no one challenged it," he added.

Hoylman is running against incumbent state Rep. Gil Keith-Agaran. 

Both ran uncontested until the general election. 

Keith-Agaran said he also was trying to clarify the mix-up when he couldn't find the names of registered voters that he knew lived within his district for a planned campaign canvas a couple of weeks ago. 

"My main concern is to make sure the people who live there has a chance to vote and to make sure their votes are counted," said Keith-Agaran yesterday.

Sixty of the estimated 300 voters either voted by mail-in or walk-in. Of the 60 voters, 42 were absentee mail-in voters and 18 were early walk-in voters, according to Keith-Agaran who received the information from Kuwada.

The 42 absentee mail-in voters had an opportunity to recast their votes. As of yesterday morning, the county clerk's office received 38 of the 42 voters' recasted ballots. 

Unfortunately, ballots for the 18 early walk-in voters can't be recalled. 

Incumbent 8th House Rep. Joe Souki who ran against two other Democratic candidates in the primary race, took the mix-up in stride. "Nothing can be done to correct," said Souki yesterday. "Just another snafu."

Souki described one of the subdivisions in Maui Lani to be one of his best towns of voters. "As far as we're concerned, we did as much as we could," he said.

 






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