LIHUE — Voters will have a variety of decisions to make when they cast their ballots in the general election. On Tuesday, all of the island’s 16 polling places will open at 7 a.m. and close at 6 p.m.
Twenty-two of the original 33 Kauai residents who appeared on this year’s primary election ballot will square off for 11 state and county seats.
A total of 14 County Council candidates will face off for the seven open seats, including all seven incumbents: Tim Bynum, Mason Chock Sr., Jay Furfaro, Gary Hooser, Ross Kagawa, Mel Rapozo and JoAnn Yukimura. The challengers who will seek to unseat them are: Arthur Brun, Felicia Cowden, Bill “Billy” DeCosta, Arryl Kaneshiro, KipuKai Kualii, Tiana Laranio and Darryl Perry.
Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. will try to keep his seat from challenger Dustin Barca of Kilauea.
State House seats
Unlike the 2012 general election in which two of the three state House incumbents ran unopposed, all three Democratic incumbents face Republican challengers this year.
Five-term incumbent James “Jimmy” Kunane Tokioka, who ran unopposed in 2012, will square off against Republican Steve Yoder of Wailua Homesteads to hold his House District 15 seat, which includes Wailua Homesteads, Hanamaulu, Lihue, Puhi, Old Koloa Town and Omao.
Derek Kawakami, who also ran unopposed for his state House District 14 seat in 2012, will try to fend off Republican candidate Jonathan Hoomanawanui. That district includes Hanalei, Princeville, Kilauea, Anahola, Kapaa and Wailua.
Two-term incumbent Daynette “Dee” Morikawa, meanwhile, will compete with Republican Victoria “Vickie” Franks to keep her House District 16 seat, which includes Niihau, Lehua, Koloa and Waimea.
Voters from Kauai and Niihau also will have a say on three Kauai County Charter amendments, which only appear on general election ballots.
Among the more substantial changes that county voters will consider is a proposal to rename the Department of Personnel Services, which is now tasked with auditing personnel transactions, classifying positions, recruiting qualified applicants, handling labor relations matters, and advising departments on civil service laws, rules and regulations.
If approved, the charter amendment would change the department’s name to the Department of Human Resources and provide it with a number of responsibilities under a human resources management program, including workers’ compensation, equal employment opportunities, workforce coordination and planning, and more.
County voters will also be asked if summaries, rather than the full text, of charter amendments or an entirely new charter should be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the county. Under the current County Charter, the entire text of proposed or approved amendments to it must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county.
If that is passed, the full text would be published on the official County of Kauai website and made available at all Kauai public libraries.
A third amendment will ask voters to modify existing language in the County Charter to comply with state laws during recall elections.
The current County Charter requires that voting targets — the spaces where voters mark their ballots — be placed “to the right of the proposition” during a recall election. State law, however, requires the spaces meet requirements of the voting system in use, which may not always allow for the voting targets to be placed in a specific place.
Visit the state Office of Elections website at https://elections2.hawaii.gov/ppl to find your polling place.