Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced Monday he will be proposing a measure in January to move our state toward 100 percent mail-in voting. He says this has been effective in other parts of the country.
This is in response to the General Election earlier this month which resulted in significant long lines and several polling places on Oahu ran out of paper ballots.
"The right to vote is one of our most cherished duties as U.S. citizens. Therefore, we must ensure that our voting process runs smoothly and efficiently," said Abercrombie.
Abercrombie says absentee ballots have seen a steady increase over the last several elections and he says there has been no evidence to question the accuracy and security of these ballots relative to traditional methods.
"I agree with criticisms that the handling of election operations raises legitimate concerns. I do not plan to simply stand on the side and wait to see what the Office of Elections' own review may bring. At a minimum, we must consider new technologies that can help bring our election process into the 21st Century," said Abercrombie.
The governor has also asked the attorney general to investigate the State Office of Elections and the circumstances that resulted in a shortage of paper ballots at some Oahu polling places.
"This serious problem has tarnished the election process and eroded public confidence," said Abercrombie.
The governor’s office does not have authority in overseeing the Office of Elections. Under Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 11-1.6, the Chief Elections Officer is appointed by the Elections Commission. Under Section 11-7, all members of the Elections Commission are appointed by the Senate President, Senate Minority Leader, House Speaker and House Minority Leader.