Updated: September 28, 2022
Harry Brown, Waiehu Kou Hawaiian Home Lands resident, said he’s voting this year because local elections are important to local people — like him.
“Not only is it a right, it’s an opportunity for me to voice my concern, my choosing,” he said on Friday afternoon. “I figure if I don’t vote, no grumble.”
Brown and others trickled into Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku Friday afternoon to drop-off or complete ballots ahead of the Primary Election deadline at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022.
As of Thursday, there were 25,050 mail ballots processed by the County of Maui Office of the County Clerk, Deputy County Clerk James Krueger said this afternoon. In 2020, there were 43,257 mailed ballots in the primary.
Election clerks at Velma McWayne Santos Community Center said Friday was the busiest day so far, and they anticipate Saturday will be busier.
A handful of people arrived after the precinct closed at 4:30 p.m. Two of them began swearing and pounding on doors, demanding they be allowed in to vote.
With a Maui Police officer on scene, precinct staff explained people would have to return Saturday or drop off completed ballots at official drop boxes around the county.
Primary Elections will determine the top two vote-getters to be placed on the General
Election ballot. Results of the General Election will be determined Nov. 8.
This year’s mayoral race is one of the most stacked in recent history. Incumbent Mayor Michael Victorino is aiming to defend his seat against seven other candidates, including Cullan Bell, Richard Bissen, Kim Brown, Alana Kay, Kelly King, Jonah Lion and Mike Molina.
Also, the primaries will determine the top two in crowded council races in Kahului and in Makawao-Haiku-Paia, among other residency seats.
Brown said his top issues are housing, water, and Native Hawaiian rights, especially when it comes to land.
His message to the next leaders?
“Keep your word. And be transparent. And do not be swayed by special interest groups and stuff like that,” Brown said.