3 elections are possible in next 3 months

After Tuesday, Nov. 5, we will not see the name of late U.S. Rep. Patsy T. Mink (D, rural O’ahu, Neighbor Islands) on an election ballot again.

But, there will be at least one, and probably two, special elections, the first on Saturday, Nov. 30, to select someone to fill the remainder of her current term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

That term runs through Friday, Jan. 3, 2003.

If Mink is re-elected at the general election, there will be a second special election, now scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 4, 2003, to select someone to serve the entire two-year term, through early January, 2005.

That means there will be two, and probably three, elections for Kaua’i and Ni’ihau voters to participate in, between Tuesday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Jan. 4.

Some 41 people, including three from Kaua’i, filed paperwork making them candidates for the first special election, to fill the remainder of Mink’s U.S. House term.

Since the Tuesday, Oct. 15 filing deadline, three dropped out, including state Rep. Bob McDermott, a Republican who will be listed on the Tuesday, Nov. 5 general election ballot; Malama Solomon, a Big Island resident and former state senator; and Richard E. Wilson of Mililani, a nonpartisan candidate.

That still leaves 38 candidates, with residences from Kapa’a to Hilo on the Big Island, including prominent names like Democrat John F. Mink, the widower of Patsy Mink; state Rep. Ed Case, who narrowly lost the Democratic gubernatorial nomination to Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono; and former state Sen. Whitney T. Anderson, a Republican.

The deadline has passed for eligible adults to register to vote in the general election, but those eligible and wishing to vote in the first special election who have not yet registered to vote have until Friday, Nov. 1 to register for the first special election.

The clock is also ticking for those wishing to request absentee mail ballots for the first special election. The deadline for city and county clerks to receive requests for such ballots for the first special election is Friday, Nov. 22.

Representatives of the state Office of Elections remind those who wish to request mail absentee ballots for the special election that they need to fill out proper request forms even if they requested mail absentee ballots for both the primary and general elections.

A separate request is required for the first special election. Application forms are available at public libraries, most post offices, by phone from the Kaua’i County Clerk Elections Division, 241-6350, or downloaded from www.hawaii/gov/elections/voteab.html.

Voters should write “Special Election” under Section 1 of the application form if they wish to receive a ballot for the first special election.

A timetable for the second special election, if necessary, will be determined shortly after the results of the general election are certified, said Rex Quidilla, state Office of Elections spokesman.

Case, who worked in the Washington, D.C. offices of the late U.S. Sen. Spark Matsunaga, the Kaua’i native who also served for years in the U.S. House of Representatives before moving to the other house, said it will be beneficial to the district for seniority purposes to have the same person elected in the first special election chosen as Patsy Mink’s full-term successor as well.

Staff Writer Paul C. Curtis can be reached at mailto:mailto:pcurtis@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 224).

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