Special election Saturday

Those wishing to cast their ballots for the special election for Kaua’i’s U.S. House seat on a walk-in, absentee basis have one day left to do so.

That’s Thursday, Jan. 2, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the County Building along Rice Street in Lihu’e.

Through Tuesday, Dec. 31, walk-on absentee voting at the County Building had been slow, but up compared to the other counties, said Deputy County Clerk Ernie Pasion.

The final special election, to select someone to serve the full two-year term of the seat formerly occupied by the late U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink, is set for this Saturday, Jan. 4.

Polling places from Waimea Neighborhood Center to Kilauea Neighborhood Center will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

From west to north, polling places for the special election are Waimea Neighborhood Center, ‘Ele’ele School cafeteria, Kato Gym at Kalaheo School, Koloa Neighborhood Center, Kaua’i High School cafeteria, Kapa’a Middle School cafeteria, St. Catherine School cafeteria, and Kilauea Neighborhood Center.

In most cases, voters will go to the polling place closest to their homes. Reminder cards were sent out to all registered voters before the Nov. 30 special election, notifying voters where they need to report to vote this Saturday.

There are 44 candidates for the seat, including U.S. Rep. Ed Case, who won election to the seat at the Nov. 30 special election to chose someone to serve out the remainder of Mink’s term, through mid-January.

Mink, who died in Honolulu in late September as the result of complications from chicken pox, won re-election to her U.S. House seat posthumously at the Nov. 5 general election, making this Saturday’s second special election necessary.

Among the prominent Democrats vying for the seat are Case, state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa (Nanakuli, Waianae, Makaha), and former state Sen. Matt Matsunaga.

Republicans on the ballot include former Honolulu Mayor Frank F. Fasi, current state Reps. Chris Halford (Wailea, Kihei) and Barbara Marumoto (Wai’alae, Diamond Head, Kaimuki), former state lawmakers Whitney T. Anderson and Bob McDermott, and former Kaua’i County Councilmember Nelson Secretario, of Kapa’a.

Other candidates who are Kaua’i residents for the seat that covers rural O’ahu and the Neighbor Islands include Gregory “Iimz” Goodwin of Hanalei, a Green Party candidate; Jeff Mallan of Kapa’a, the lone Libertarian candidate in the field; and Marshall “Koo Koo” Turner, a nonpartisan candidate and entrepreneur who lists a Lihu’e mailing address.

A plane chartered by the Kaua’i County Clerk’s office will take all of the Kaua’i and Ni’ihau ballots cast during the final special election of the 2002 campaign season to Honolulu Saturday night.

The ballots will be counted this Sunday, Jan. 5, so results won’t be seen in The Garden Island newspaper until Monday, Jan. 6.

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