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Rep. Mink's Name Will Remain on Hawaii Ballot

October 11, 2002|From Associated Press

HONOLULU — The name of Rep. Patsy Mink, who died Sept. 28, will stay on the ballot for the Nov. 5 election, the state's chief election officer said Thursday.

The Hawaii Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to order Mink's name removed, saying election official Dwayne Yoshina has the discretion to decide if her name should be replaced.

Earlier, state Atty. Gen. Earl Anzai, at Gov. Ben Cayetano's request, had petitioned to remove Mink's name and allow the Democratic Party to choose a new candidate.

Yoshina said he decided to leave Mink's name on the ballot after discussing the situation Wednesday with Anzai.

"Basically, what I got was that the A.G. has said we're going to run the two elections," Yoshina said. "I agree with that and let's move forward."

The Supreme Court's ruling Wednesday, coupled with an earlier decision denying a petition to hold a special election to fill the remainder of Mink's term on the same day as the Nov. 5 general election, means voters on parts of Oahu and on all the other islands will be casting 2nd District votes as many as three times:

* Nov. 5, with Mink on the ballot.

* Nov. 30, for the remainder of her term.

* Jan. 4, for the next term, if Mink wins.

Cayetano has estimated the costs of two special elections at $3 million, and has defended the state's petitions to the Supreme Court, saying he was trying to spare taxpayers a financial burden.

Mink died of pneumonia two days after the deadline for replacing her name on the ballot.

While the high court left open the possibility that Yoshina could have Mink's name replaced, Yoshina said any change in the ballot would have to have been made by Thursday, when the new ballots are sent to the printer.

Also, some absentee overseas ballots already have been printed and mailed, he said.

Losing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed Case and 23 other candidates already have filed to run in the Nov. 30 special election.

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