Voting ran from May 2 to May 21. Eligible voters in districts with contested races received a passcode in the mail, which allowed them to cast a ballot online or over the telephone. 13,269 voters cast a ballot, a participation rate of 8.5 percent. This was up from 6.5 percent in 2009.
Neighborhood Commission Executive Secretary Tom Heinrich said: “Not only are we pleased that the voter participation rate rose, we cite Koolauloa’s Subdistrict two’s 22.7 percent participation rate as proof that the digital election method is viable.”
The Neighborhood Board system consists of 33 boards across Oahu with 439 seats. Members are unpaid volunteers who advise all levels of government. The election filled 379 of the seats; the remaining 60 did not have any residents apply as candidates. The boards may appoint qualified residents to fill those vacancies once the new term begins on July 1. The list of vacancies is available on the NCO website.
Election officials estimate that the digital method of voting saved the City close to $100,000 in this year’s budget.
The City and County of Honolulu selected Everyone Counts, Inc. in April to deliver online and telephone voting solutions for the 2011 Neighborhood Board Elections. The decision to go digital built upon the success of the 2009 election, which introduced the nation’s first all-digital election.