Monday, June 17, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, November 29, 2015
Vote-by-Mail: Old-Boy Trick to Disenfranchise Independent Voters?
By Andrew Walden @ 9:43 PM :: 6904 Views :: Labor, Office of Elections, GMOs

by Andrew Walden

With the 2016 legislative session fast approaching, the push is on again for Hawaii to adopt a mandatory vote-by-mail election system. 

Recently in the news:

Unmentioned in the testimony, editorials, and coverage is the clear difference between Hawaii absentee voters and Hawaii Election Day voters. 

In the 2014 Primary and General Elections, a pattern showed itself in race after race: Absentee voters voted strongly pro-GMO, Election Day voters voted anti-GMO. 

Logically, any move to shut down Hawaii polling places and force voters into a 100% vote-by-mail system would favor the voters who already vote by mail and disfavor the voters who prefer to vote on Election Day.

This isn’t just about GMOs.  The discrepancy between vote-by-mail and Election Day voting on GMO-related issues likely reflects a predominance of ‘organized’ voting blocs such as unions in the absentee electorate.  In contrast, Election Day voters are more likely to be un-organized—that is, ‘independent’. 

With ‘Aloha Aina’ protesters setting up electoral challenges to entrenched ‘old-boy’ Democrat incumbents, will Legislators advance a vote-by mail bill in order to give themselves an electoral advantage?

The numbers tell the story.

The November, 2014 Maui Anti-GMO initiative—opposed by organized voting blocs--would have been defeated by 19.1% if only absentee ballots were counted.  This is a pattern which held in race after race statewide:

November, 2014 General Election First Read (absentee ballots only)

  • YES 7,655 --39.3% (anti-GMO position)
  • NO 11,370 --58.4% (pro-GMO position)
  • Total Absentee Ballots: 19,467

November, 2014—Counting only ballots cast on Election Day:

  • YES 15,427 --58.2% (anti-GMO position)
  • NO 10,635 --40.1% (pro-GMO position)
  • Total Election Day Ballots 26,516

Absentee Advantage:

  • YES –18.9% (anti-GMO position)
  • NO +18.3% (pro-GMO position) 
  • TOTAL SWING: 37.2%

November, 2014 General Election Final (combined absentee and Election Day voters):

  • YES 23,082 --50.2% (anti-GMO position)
  • NO 22,005 --47.9% (pro-GMO position)
  • Total Ballots:  45,983

The same pattern holds in the 2014 Primary election on Kauai.  Mayoral candidate and Anti-GMO Activist Dustin Barca was rejected by Kauai voters, but the rejection came most strongly from organized absentee mail-in voters:

August, 2014 Kauai Mayoral Primary First Read (absentee ballots only):

  • CARVALHO, Bernard P., Jr. 6,606 --61.4%
  • BARCA, Dustin 2,726 --25.3%
  • Total absentee ballots: 10,764

August, 2014—Counting only ballots cast on Election Day:

  • CARVALHO, Bernard P., Jr. 4,545 --52.8%
  • BARCA, Dustin 3,231 --37.6%
  • Total Election Day ballots: 8,602

Absentee Advantage:

  • CARVALHO, Bernard P., Jr.  + 8.6%
  • BARCA, Dustin  - 12.3%
  • TOTAL SWING: 20.9%

August, 2014 Primary Final (combined absentee and Election Day voters):

  • CARVALHO, Bernard P., Jr. 11,151 --57.6%
  • BARCA, Dustin 5,957 --30.8%
  • Total Ballots: 19,366




TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii