Hawaii can’t afford Congressional election

By Mark Niesse
The Denver Post
1/10/2010

HONOLULU — Cash-strapped Hawaii can’t afford to pay for an election to replace a congressman who is planning to step down next month to run for governor, potentially leaving 600,000 urban Honolulu residents without representation in Washington.

Budget cuts have left the state Office of Elections with about $5,000 to last until July, with a special election costing nearly $1 million, said interim chief elections officer Scott Nago.

Until the state finds money or this fall’s regularly scheduled elections occur, one of Hawaii’s two seats in the House of Representatives will remain vacant.

“Democracy depends on representation of the people,” said Jean Aoki, legislative liaison for the Hawaii chapter of the League of Women Voters. “I can’t imagine the citizens of our state not wanting representation in the highest body in the land to make laws. It’s just unthinkable.”

Elections officials are hoping to hold a vote-by-mail special election May 1 if they can get the $925,000 it would cost. An election with walk-in voting would cost $1.2 million.

Whoever wins would become the favorite to take on the job permanently after November’s general election.

The article continues at The Denver Post

Comments are closed.