LIHU‘E — An automatically triggered recount upheld the results of the primary election Monday.
Only 133 votes separated the candidates finishing 14th (Roy Saito) and 15th (Jakki Nelson) places in the County Council primary, triggering the recount because the difference was within 0.25% of the total votes cast and the 14th-place candidate advances to the general election while the 15th-place candidate does not.
The adjustments from the recount were minor, with no candidate’s total changing by more than two votes and the order of candidates’ finishes unaffected.
With the recount upholding the results, five candidates were eliminated from contention in the general election, including Nelson, Rosemarie Jauch, Jeffrey Lindner, Clint Yago and James Langtad.
Agricultural developer and farmer Lindner, at 17th, plans to remain involved in County Council politics despite his primary loss.
“I’m happy I did it,” said Lindner of his run. “I feel like I learned a lot about how the government works, and I can shed some light on some things.”
Lindner ran a limited campaign, saying that he was out there “trying to solicit votes.” He said he felt the election was “a popularity contest” and “not an issue-oriented process.”
Jauch, who finished in 16th place, said she got into the race primarily as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown.
“I funded my own campaign,” said Jauch. “I was my own IT person, my own PR person.”
Jauch said she supported improving publicly funded campaign spending to take the money out of politics and help first-time candidates to get their names out there.
The recount showed that 85,829 votes had been cast in the County Council race, where voters have the option to select up to seven of their preferred candidates. There were 43,363 undervotes in the County Council race, meaning that many voters selected less than seven candidates.
Turnout was low this year, at 38.5% compared to 49.7% and 43.3% in the 2020 and 2018 primaries, respectively.
Fourteen candidates advancing to the general election are, in order of vote totals, incumbent Luke Evslin, incumbent Bernard Carvalho, former Councilmember Mel Rapozo, incumbent KipuKai Kuali‘i, former Councilmember Ross Kagawa, Dr. Addison Bulosan, incumbent Felicia Cowden, Fern Anuenue Holland, Lila Balmores Metzger, Shirley Simbre-Medeiros, Rachel Secretario, Nelson Mukai and Roy Saito.
Guthrie Scrimgeour, reporter, can be reached at 808-647-0329 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island