POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Aug 26, 2010
Question: In the Sept. 18 primary election, can we vote for either the Democratic or Republican Party and still cast our vote in the special election for mayor? As an independent, I heard about crossover voting -- voting for another party's candidate. Is it legal if we take that ballot?
Answer: The primary election basically is "like a playoff system," said Rex Quidilla, spokesman for the state Office of Elections. You will be asked to select the candidates for state and federal offices who will move on to the general election.
Quidilla also explained that the primary election "ballot" is, in fact, "a collection of ballots."
On the primary "ballot card" this year, you will first be asked to select one ballot or slate of candidates on which to vote. This year, the choices will be Democrat, Free Energy, Green, Libertarian, Nonpartisan (not affiliated with any party) and Republican.
You then will be able to vote only for the candidates on that one slate.
"You are not allowed to cross" from one party to the other, Quidilla said. Doing so will invalidate your vote.
For people voting at a polling site on Sept. 18, this won't be a big problem, because the voting machines are programmed to detect any crossover or improper voting.
"A poll worker will tell you about the mistake and you (will be) allowed to correct your ballot," Quidilla said.
However, if you are voting absentee, "the onus" will be on you to make sure you follow directions and vote correctly, he said. If you do make a mistake, you can call the county clerk and ask for a replacement ballot.
Also on primary election day, there will be Board of Education and county elections for "Special Nonpartisan Offices."
Those contests will be on the reverse side of the primary election ballot. County contests will vary, but all voters will be able to vote for the Board of Education.
In the City and County of Honolulu, voters will be choosing City Council members (depending on district; four district seats are at stake), as well as mayor and prosecutor.
The last two races are "special vacancy elections" and will be winner-take-all : The person with the most votes wins, and there is no runoff if someone does not get a majority of votes.
Voters can vote for every contest listed under "Special Nonpartisan Offices," Quidilla said, but he cautioned people to vote for only the number of seats specified for each contest.
For more information, go to http://hawaii.gov/elections or call 453-8683.
Question: With all the work being done on Kalanianaole Highway at Makapuu, are power lines going to be buried underground? It would be so nice to take visitors there without having the power lines ruin an otherwise pristine scene.
Answer: It turns out that the state, as part of its project to improve Kalanianaole Highway and the retaining wall at Makapuu, asked Hawaiian Electric Co. to bury the power lines.
HECO has completed converting six spans of overhead lines, totaling about 1,150 feet, to underground lines from the Makapuu Lookout to Makapuu Beach Park, said spokesman Peter Rosegg.
Cost for the conversion was about $875,000, split 50-50 with the state, he said.
To the bulky item crew that does pickup on Prospect Street, Ewa of Ward Avenue. They went out of their way to pick up items that had been dumped and were not easily accessible. You are much appreciated. -- Makiki Condo Dweller
Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail email@example.com.