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Election errors erode public trust


POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Aug 19, 2014

~~<p>In the aftermath of a primary election that saw voting disrupted on a storm-ravaged island, the historic defeat of an incumbent governor and the nail-biting finish of the Democratic race to succeed Hawaii's icon in the U.S. Senate, it would be easy to overlook the Maui ballot snafu as a minor issue amid major drama.</p>
<p>But rather than dismissing the tardy transmittal and public reporting of 800 absentee ballots from Maui as a human error that was easily corrected and did not impact the outcome of any race, the state Office of Elections would do well to strengthen its internal process to avert a repeat of such errors in the general election. If mistakes do occur, the elections office must immediately inform the public that previously reported results are missing a large number of ballots &mdash; even if that announcement precedes the release of the final tally.</p>
~~

In the aftermath of a primary election that saw voting disrupted on a storm-ravaged island, the historic defeat of an incumbent governor and the nail-biting finish of the Democratic race to succeed Hawaii's icon in the U.S. Senate, it would be easy to overlook the Maui ballot snafu as a minor issue amid major drama.

But rather than dismissing the tardy transmittal and public reporting of 800 absentee ballots from Maui as a human error that was easily corrected and did not impact the outcome of any race, the state Office of Elections would do well to strengthen its internal process to avert a repeat of such errors in the general election. If mistakes do occur, the elections office must immediately inform the public that previously reported results are missing a large number of ballots — even if that announcement precedes the release of the final tally. Login for more...



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