By Malia Zimmerman | Hawaii Reporter
Gov. Neil Abercrombie has asked his appointed attorney general, David Louie, to investigate problems that arose during the Nov. 6 election on Oahu, saying “the handling of election operations raises legitimate concerns.”
In a statement issued Monday, Abercrombie said he asked Attorney General David Louie “to investigate the State Office of Elections and the circumstances that resulted in a shortage of paper ballots at numerous Oahu polling places on Nov. 6.”
Abercrombie maintained there was a “serious problem has tarnished the election process and eroded public confidence.”
State elections officials confirmed 24 out of 140 polling places on Oahu ran out of paper ballots during the General Election. The number was originally reported as 5 polling places, but by the day after the election, that number had increased by nearly five times.
The State Elections Commission moved up its meeting from December to Tuesday to address the issues.
“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,” Abercrombie said.
The Honolulu City Council passed a unanimous resolution on Nov. 14 calling for the governor to look into several issues that left voters feeling as if the elections had not been run fairly. Many stood in long lines unable to vote for as long as three hours while others left without voting because they were unable to wait.
Abercrombie said the governor’s office does not have that authority. However, he can propose new legislation in January to try to ensure problems that existed during the general election don’t happen again.
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