Categorized | Government, News

Hawaii State House Republicans reject ranked-choice voting in elections


HONOLULU, HI – The House Republican Caucus unanimously opposed HB 210 HD1 which would implement ranked-choice voting for all partisan primary elections, special elections, and nonpartisan general elections held in the State of Hawaii. Here’s what some of the members had to say about the bill:

“In races throughout the decades, Republican candidates can receive a small number of votes in the Republican primary ballot but win by strong majorities in the general,” said Representative Cynthia Thielen (HD50 Kailua, Kaneohe Bay). “This bill would prevent voters from making that choice in the November elections.”

“Ranked-choice voting is not the solution to encourage more people to vote,” said Representative Val Okimoto (HD37 Mililani Mauka, Mililani)

“The concept of ranked-choice voting has confused everyone from legislators to staff members at the Office of Elections,” said Representative Gene Ward (HD17 Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley). “If public officials can’t understand it, how are supposed to expect our constituents to? On top of that, under this system, there would be no Congressman Charles Djou.

“According to the Office of Elections’ testimony, this system would apply in limited circumstances and cost approximately $585,200,” said Representative Lauren Matsumoto (HD45 Schofield, Mokuleia, Waialua, Kunia, Waipio Acres, Mililani) “Our taxpayers’ money should work towards making government more efficient, not less.”

“We should be creating opportunities to increase voter engagement in Hawaii,” said Representative Bob McDermott (Ewa, Ewa Beach, Ewa by Gentry, Iroquois Point) “Ranked-choice voting may deter many of the folks we’re trying to reach from registering.”

Ranked-choice voting is a method of voting that would let each voter choose their first, second, and third candidate in a contested election. The candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated. First-preference votes to the failed candidate will then be eliminated, directing their second-choice votes to the respective candidate. The process continues until one candidate receives a majority.

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