Special City Council election between Ozawa, Waters set for April

Special City Council election between Ozawa, Waters set for April

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A rematch between Trevor Ozawa and Tommy Waters to represent Honolulu City Council District 4 is set for Saturday, April 13.

City Clerk Glen Takahashi says Ozawa and Waters will be the only candidates on the ballot, and the special election will be conducted by mail.

"The seat is unfilled right now, so we want to do it in the most expedited amount of time as possible," said Takahashi.

Ballots will first be mailed to overseas and military voters on February 27.

Ballots are expected to show up in voters' mailboxes from Hawaii Kai to Waikiki after March 21.

Those who prefer to vote in person can do so at Honolulu Hale from April 1-13, excluding Sunday.

"We will be open on Election Day to take in any Election Day registrations that might occur, and allow them to vote as well if they're a resident of that district," Takahashi said.

Takahashi says the "do-over" election will cost around $250,000.

Last Friday, the state Supreme Court unanimously invalidated incumbent Ozawa's 22-vote victory over Waters in the November general election, saying officials improperly counted 350 late absentee ballots.

Because of the court’s ruling, the mailed ballots must be received by 6 p.m. on April 13 in order to be counted.

Takahashi says they're working with the postal service to ensure they have all ballots in their possession before the deadline.

“We’ll probably bring some of the state election observers over with us at that time to have a couple of witnesses so that we can say the transfer did occur before 6 p.m.,” said Takahashi.

With the election still months away, the eight certified members of the city council plan to appoint a temporary representative for the district, so they can get to work.

"We'll be accepting names for consideration. There are so many important matters to be discussed and we'll be starting our budget process at the same time," said interim council chairwoman Ann Kobayashi.

Kobayashi says the council will begin considering all names on Monday and plan to have a final vote on Tuesday.

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