POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, May 27, 2011
About 8.5 percent of eligible voters cast ballots either online or by phone in this year's neighborhood board elections, officials said Wednesday.
City officials said they were pleased with the outcome, which improved from the 6.5 percent voter turnout in 2009, the first year the city used a paperless ballot system for the neighborhood board vote.
Overall, 13,264 of 156,661 eligible voters cast ballots online or by phone. Koolauloa's Subdistrict 2 had the highest turnout, with 251 of 1,105 voters (22.7 percent) casting ballots. The lowest turnout was Kaneohe Subdistrict 4, where 73 of 1,439 voters (5 percent) cast votes.
"Not only are we pleased that the voter participation rate rose, we cite Koolauloa's Subdistrict 2's 22.7 percent participation rate as proof that the digital election method is viable," Neighborhood Commission Executive Secretary Tom Heinrich said.
Voting ran May 2-20. Eligible voters in districts with contested races received a code in the mail that allowed them to cast a ballot online or over the telephone.
The city said election officials estimated the paperless method of voting saved the city nearly $100,000.
For the second consecutive election, voting was conducted by Everyone Counts Inc., a San Diego-based company that has conducted online elections around the world since 1996.
The neighborhood board system consists of 33 boards across Oahu with 439 seats. The election filled 379 of the seats; the remaining 60 seats did not have any residents apply as candidates, the city said.
Boards may appoint qualified residents to fill those vacancies when the new term begins July 1.
Complete results and the list of vacancies are available on the Neighborhood Commission website, www1.honolulu.gov/nco.