Problems were reported elsewhere but this is the only subdistrict that gets to vote again.

Following a technical glitch that deterred some residents from voting during part of last month’s neighborhood board elections, the Neighborhood Commission announced Monday it had scheduled a revote for Hawaii Kai’s subdistrict 11 board seat.

Dylan Buck – who’s also an employee of the commission – is challenging incumbent Paige Altonn for the seat.

While the subdistrict’s turnout in previous cycles had topped 100 votes, turnout this time reached only 31 votes, with 17 going to Buck and 14 to Altonn.

“There is no other way to look at it other than to allow everyone to vote again,” said Neighborhood Commission Office executive secretary Lloyd Yonenaka in a press release issued Monday. 

According to the press release, the glitch was patched and residents were able to cast their votes by late afternoon on May 4.

The commission determined that this subdistrict was the only one affected.

Desks face a large TV screen of Webex participants. One person sits there, studying the papers in front of him. In the background, a person controls the computer.
Neighborhood Board participation fell during the pandemic but they are still considered a valuable forum for public participation. (David Croxford/Civil Beat/2022)

Altonn is glad that the commission is redoing the election, and had appealed the earlier result.

She’s skeptical of the commission’s claim that they’ve completely fixed the issue and of the online voting in general, which she says may be more convenient for election administrators but more confusing for voters in her district.

“The whole voting process should be a mail-in vote. We’re a mail-in state,” Altonn said.

The revote process will be run entirely online unless a voter already requested access to a paper ballot, in which case they can call or email the commission office. Pin numbers and new passcodes will be mailed to residents of subdistrict 11, which includes the roads behind Hanauma Bay, starting June 20. 

Votes can then be cast starting two days later on June 22.

According to the press release, residents can also visit commission staff and vote online at a physical location in subdistrict 11. That location was unspecified though, and Yonenaka and his deputy Dylan Whitsell did not return a phone call Monday.

Neighborhood boards are run by the city but don’t have the power to enact legal changes. They instead act as advisory boards for hyperlocal concerns. Their subjects often include rogue baseballs that escape over park fences and scofflaws that speed past elementary schools

Boards also take on heavier subjects, such as a plan by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to mitigate flooding of the Ala Wai Canal or resolutions voicing concerns about the city council’s controversial proposed salary increases.

The timing of this revote means that the winner won’t be determined in time for them to attend the commissioners’ swearing-in July 1, but they will be able to attend Hawaii Kai’s neighborhood board meeting on July 25.

Help power our public service journalism

As a local newsroom, Civil Beat has a unique public service role in times of crisis.

That’s why we’re committed to a paywall-free website and subscription-free content, so we can get vital information out to everyone, from all communities.

We are deploying a significant amount of our resources to covering the Maui fires, and your support ensures that we can pivot when these types of emergencies arise.

Make a gift to Civil Beat today and help power our nonprofit newsroom.

About the Author