East Honolulu City Council candidate to appeal razor thin loss

(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
Updated: Nov. 21, 2018 at 4:47 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Former state legislator Tommy Waters will appeal his 21-vote loss to East Honolulu Councilman Trevor Ozawa.

The City Council race wasn’t just close, it was closely watched.

That’s because Mayor Kirk Caldwell was supporting Waters against Ozawa.

Ozawa is among those who could become council chair, and he’s been a critic of the Caldwell administration.

Waters will ask the state Supreme Court to consider a recount of the ballots because he says the final after-midnight counting swung the vote too far in Ozawa’s favor to make statistical sense.

In an interview with Hawaii News Now, Waters pointed out that as the votes were counted on election night, every printout had the two candidates within 1 percent of each other.

On the second-to-last printout, Waters was leading by 72 votes.

But on the final printout, made up of absentee votes that had been mailed at the last minute or dropped off at polling places, the lead swung to give Ozawa his 22-vote margin.

Waters said he will argue to the court that in order for that turnaround to happen, the 1,200 or so votes added to his race in the last printout would have to have included an 8 percent margin for Ozawa, which Waters says is highly suspicious.

He said he has no other evidence of fraud or irregularities, which the court might need to order a recount.

Waters said he will work on the appeal through the Thanksgiving weekend and file it Monday.

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